For a PDF version of this Article, please go to:
2 Chronicles 25:5-11
Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this. Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger. And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
King Amaziah was a partly good king, who followed God, but not with a perfect heart. In the related incident above, he was preparing to go to war with Seir, which is Edom. He did not have enough troops, hence, he hired mercenaries from idolatrous Israel. This alliance did not glorify God, and the man of God warned of the coming disaster if he would bring the Israelite mercenaries with him. King Amaziah asked, “What about my money?” The man of God answered that God could give him much more than this. At these words, Amaziah sent the mercenaries home, went on the fight the battle, and emerged victorious.
What lessons on separation does this story hold? Many teenagers want to associate with friends of the world. They want to be popular, be cool, and be part of the crowd. Some say, it’s not about the friends you mix with, it’s the activities you do. God clearly does not tolerate an alliance of believers and non-believers, and what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? (2 Corinthians 6:14) Many try to marry the world with Christ. I have seen shirts: “Transformed(In the well-known Transformers font)—by Christ.” What association does a violent and worldly movie have to do with Christ? (I have not watched Transformers, but one does not have to watch Transformers to know it is violent.) If you use the excuse, it’s all about the activities, well, Amaziah had the best excuse. We’re fighting a war, the country’s security is at stake, we have to win the battle. What’s wrong with hiring mercenary soldiers who are idolatrous? I am not going to worship their gods. But God still clearly shows that any association with the world should not even be considered.
Teenagers are also afraid of losing friends. What does God say to that? 2 Chronicles 25:9, “The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.” God’s reply to Amaziah is the same reply He is giving to teens today. The man of God further more warned that if he went to battle with the Israelite mercenaries, he would fall before the enemy. Some youth have fallen before the enemy, and I will cite an example in the following paragraph.
Let me conclude this article with a real life example of Teenager X. I will also include the youth from this Teenager X’s church, for added emphasis. Names are omitted for the sake of the person’s reputation. Teenager X belonged to a Christian family. Teenager X did not even go to the mainstream schools and was homeschooled. Teenager X attended a fundamental church and was just like any ordinary Christian youth. Sometime later, Teenager X’s family changed church and moved to another “fundamental” church. I don’t want to be judgmental, but this “fundamental” church, though fundamental in name, does not hold to the KJV and are not conservative as far as I know. Teenager X not only mixed with bad company in and around the neighbourhood, but also with bad company in church! In the “fundamental” church that Teenager X attended, liberality abounded. I found out only recently, as I bumped into a group of youth from the “fundamental” church Teenager X is from. The youth from the “fundamental” church were evidently worldly. From their looks, you could not even tell they were from a church. It was only upon inquiry that I found out, “Oh. They are your church friends.” The girls were dressed immodestly, (just like any worldly youth, short shorts and tops that do not cover a girl properly) and a friend that Teenager X had who was there was a person who hurled vulgarities so loud like as if it was something to be proud about. And the vulgarities are the type that even the newspaper censors. This friend also attends Teenager X’s “fundamental” church. Just because you attend church does not make you a Christian or Christ-like, just like because a mouse lives in a cookie jar, it does not necessarily make him a cookie. Teenager X himself is no better than his friends. From the former hairstyle that was black and conservative, Teenager X now sports a head of hair with shades of red and brown. I personally witnessed Teenager X referee “friendly” fights between church friends and neighbourhood thugs that ended up with people getting hurt.
Teenager X’s life is a perfect example of someone failing to separate from the world and ends up being like them. And, just in case you think I am making up this story, I have known Teenager X for close to 6 years, and watched this remarkable transformation. Be not deceived teenagers, evil communications will corrupt good manners. I have asked Teenager X not to associate with gangsters, but I am afraid my plea has fallen on deaf ears, and as far as I know, Teenager X has no plans on change.
Don’t end up on the slippery slope of worldliness like Teenager X. Make your life count for God.
Wherefore come out from among them, and BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2 Corinthians 6:17