Amaziah king of Judah listened to the LORD in the beginning of his reign. The testimony of Scripture is that he did what was right, but not with a perfect heart (2 Chr 25:2). We have seen this phrase “perfect heart” before! King Asa of Judah had perfect heart toward the LORD his God, even though all the high places were not taken away. Someone with a perfect heart toward the LORD, has taken the LORD for his God, and walks in His ways, but also relies on Him to deliver him when they face any trouble in life.
So because we know that Amaziah did what was right but not with a perfect heart, we can assume he did his part of his covenant with the LORD: he obeyed Him. But he did not rely on the LORD his God to do His part of the covenant: he did not call upon Him to deliver him when he got into trouble.
You know, it is not necessarily a noble thing to always pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. God wants to be our Deliverer, He is our Deliverer, and when we allow Him to act as our Deliverer, by calling upon Him when we get into trouble and trusting in Him to come to our aid, it pleases Him and He declares we have a perfect heart toward Him! Our goal in growing in maturity in the LORD, is to grow more dependent upon Him for our lives, not more independent!
So when Amaziah defeated the Edomites, his heart was lifted up in pride. He burned incense to their gods and wanted to defeat Israel too. The LORD sent him two warnings to turn away from Israel, that his heart was lifted up to his destruction: first from a prophet, and second from the king of Israel! Amaziah did not listen to either and suffered a great defeat.
His son Uzziah also did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. But the same thing happened to him as happened to his father: when he became strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction (2 Chr 26:16). He entered the temple to burn incense before God, instead of the priests. The high priest and the priests withstood him. Now I believe if Uzziah would have listened to the priests, the warning which God was sending him, he would have walked out of the temple whole. But his pride fueled his anger, and he did not listen, so that leprosy broke out upon him in an instant, and he quickly left the temple.
But we all err in many ways. The question is, when we do, will we listen to the correction which the LORD will bring to us, so that nothing further happens to us? When we begin to have success, because we have been seeking the LORD, pride is our first and worst enemy! May we be on guard against it at all times, LORD, and may we set our hearts as wise men to pay heed to the correction which You bring to us because You love us as a father His children!