2 Chronicles 25 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%2025&version=ESV
“Don’t get cocky” is always good advice (Han Solo knew it!). When we become proud of our success to the point where we forget what brought us that success, it’s pretty easy to come tumbling down. You become a great baseball player by repetition, hard work, practice! If you stop working, you can lose all that you gained. You won your spouse’s heart with romance, how easy it is to get cocky, to forget to do the things you used to do together! It’s especially applicable with God. Amaziah got cocky, It was God who had given him the victory over Edom. The true God only! Yet, in his pride, Amaziah not only brought home the gods of the defeated Edomites (how crazy is that!) but then scorned and refused to listen to God’s prophet. He taunted the king of Israel, dared him to fight, all the while trusting no in God but in himself. Things didn’t turn out well.
Paul warned the Galatians about something very similar – “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). He was talking about their salvation. They had been brought to faith by the Spirit alone, it was God’s work to bring them to new life through the message of Christ crucified. They had nothing to do with it! But now they were being told that they needed to do certain things in order to make it the rest of the way – that it was up to them! What foolish pride. They were forgetting what had got them there. Perhaps at times, so do we. Christ is what got us to where we are. Christ died for us, rose for us, lives for us, lives in us! Christ forgives us and strengthens us. And it must be Christ who still keeps us and helps us. It is not now (nor ever will be) the time to say to Jesus, “You’ve done a good job so far, let me take it from here.” Such an approach will leave us with Amaziah, turned away from God, refusing to hear His word and finally destroyed. God grant us hearts to trust in Him only for salvation – not our works, not our feelings, not our understanding – Jesus only. Amen.