August 23

The Reason Why is Found in the Character of God

II Chronicles 25:1-9 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king…And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.

Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds…. He also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for one hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him, saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim. Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”

King Amaziah was putting his army together, and included a huge number of mercenaries from the Northern Kingdom of Israel to assist them in fighting. The tab was a hefty one—one hundred talents of silver, a huge investment.

But then a prophet of God cautioned him against using them. Amaziah responds with a measure of faith and unbelief that reflected his original description of one who “was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.”

His response indicates a desire to obey the word of the Lord through the prophet. But lacking a degree of trust in the Lord and His provision, Amaziah asks, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?”

Have you ever made an investment that you knew had to end? Was it a job, or a relationship, or a path of some kind? Most of us want to obey the Lord, and are usually happy when His will to us is as clear as Amaziah’s command was. But when it’s clear we need to stop investing, the struggle is often with our thoughts about the investment we’ve already made. How do we recoup what we’ve invested? Has all that time, money, ministry, or energy been completely lost?

The prophet could have answered the king’s question in any number of ways. He could have asked him the price of disobedience in contrast to the specific cost of the unused troops. He could have asked the king if it would be worth all the money to not have God with him in battle. Or he could have told him specifically what would have happened if he’d continued his plans to use the troops, and how that wouldn’t have worked out as the king had thought. All of those answers would have been in the realm of the logical, and might have satisfied the king’s mind.

But the answer instead went straight to God’s character: “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.” Not even that the Lord would, but that He was able to.

We often try to make sense out of why we need to quit bad investments sometimes. We’re horrified at losing all we’ve invested. But the most deeply satisfying answer isn’t an acceptable logical explanation of what might be the reason, but a revelation of the Eternal One, who is all-powerful and all-knowing. If He is able to “give [us] much more than” what we’ve invested, then we have to let go and trust that His command to stop the investment is the perfect wisdom of God. No other explanation is needed.

Prayer: Father, help me to hear you clearly when I need to stop investing in something. And may I resist the temptation to come up with a logical possible scenario as to why if it’s not clear, and help me to simply trust in Your good character. If You speak something, I trust that You know what You’re doing.

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