Amon, King of Judah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 2, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

After the very evil reign of King Manasseh of Judah, his son Amon took over the throne. While King Manasseh had followed the good King Hezekiah (who followed the evil King Ahaz), sadly Amon did not continue the trend of alternating between good and evil reigns.

King Amon’s brief reign is documented in 2 Kings 21:18-26 and 2 Chronicles 33:21-25. He only reigned as king for 2 years, even though he was just 22 years old when he became king.

In the short summary of his reign, he is directly compared to his father King Manasseh: “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. He forsook the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him” (2 Kings 21:20-22).

The apple did not fall far from the tree with King Amon. Even though prophets warned the nation under King Manasseh’s reign that God would completely wipe them out if they did not change their ways, King Amon continued all of the idol worship and sacrifices to idols that his father promoted. He did not obey God, and neither did the people under his leadership.

The parallel account in 2 Chronicles says that “But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the LORD; Amon increased his guilt” (2 Chronicles 33:23). King Amon just kept making things worse for himself and for the people of Judah.

But, just 2 years into his reign, King Amon suffered some immediate consequences for that. His officials assassinated him, right there in his palace! The Scriptures do not state the reason for this assassination, whether the officials disagreed with King Amon and his idolatry or if they simply wanted to make a power grab. There was “behind the scenes” drama going on between Judah and the Assyrians, so the officials may have been involved in that.

But right after King Amon’s officials assassinated him, they experienced immediate consequences for that action – the people of Judah rose up and killed them! So if it was a power grab, they didn’t get to experience that power. This all turned out very good for the people, though, since they made King Amon’s son Josiah the next king (even though he was only 8 years old), and he was one of the very good ones who brought the people back to following God.

Scripture does not record the feelings and motivations of the officials or the people of Judah in this situation. But, perhaps the people were smarter than their king, and they knew that idolatry was not the path they should be following. Perhaps they knew that the king had to be taken down, and then for good measure, they took down the people who assassinated the king too! This was clearly God working in the hearts and lives of the people of Judah, as they needed to get away from the idol worship that was rampant under King Manasseh and then King Amon.

How does this apply to us today? Take a look at national politics here in the U.S. today – and even in the last 10-15 years for that matter. Are our leaders more like King Hezekiah or King Manasseh and King Amon? Is our leadership following the one true God and encouraging the people to do the same? Or is our leadership encouraging following idols and false gods and encouraging the people to do the same?

From my perspective, it is definitely the latter and not the former; our government officials seem to be following the path of the evil kings of Judah much more than the good kings. Not only am I not seeing any encouragement to follow God from our elected leaders, but there is an active discouragement of following God. People are encouraged to worship idols, especially the most prevalent idol in our society today – the idol of self.

The transgender movement is one of the “popular” manifestations of the idol of self today. It says that you should pay no attention to how God created you to be, whether male or female; only pay attention to what you feel like. It encourages people to do whatever will draw the most attention to them and their own personal “courage” and “bravery” in the face of the “adversity” of people “misgendering” them. Transgenderism is one way that people are bowing down to the idol of self and encouraging others to do the same.

The idol of self is also seen in the social media culture of today. Social media is primarily about focusing on self and developing an audience of people who want to follow (and perhaps worship) you. Yes, social media can definitely be used to point people toward God and His Biblical teachings, so it is not all bad. But far too often, social media is about promoting and giving glory to oneself rather than promoting and giving all glory to God where it is rightfully due.

Some of the corruption of our government leaders and organizations has been revealed in recent days that they have been censoring the speech of those who disagree with them – those who believe in God’s created order of things and that God should receive the glory rather than His creation. This is simply active idolatry; people wanting the power that only God should have. They want to control others and “play God” rather than encouraging the liberty to which God has called us, where every person is equally valuable in God’s eyes and we all deserve to be able to speak out to honor and glorify Him.

Learn from the short reign of King Amon and pray about what God would have you do to bring Him the glory that He – and only He – deserves. Do not fall into the idolatrous trap of our society today, but continue to rely on the only real source of truth, the Word of God.

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