Chapter twenty-five summarizes the reign of Amaziah – one of the most difficult to date. He is said to rule Jerusalem 29 years, but he was also a captive in Israel for a while. Perhaps it is best to presume that his son, Uzziah (Azariah), was made co-regent when Amaziah was taken captive and that he was taken captive about five years into his reign.
Previous chapters have underscored God’s displeasure with the northern kingdom and the adversity visited on the southern kingdom for its alliance with the north. You see it again here. Amaziah hires 100,000 mercenary soldiers for 100 talents of silver – which works out to about an ounce of silver each. Why would mercenary soldiers work for such low wages? More importantly, when the contract was cancelled, why would they rebel? The answer is to be found in the spoils of war. The soldiers hoped to make much more from pillage – which explains why they ravaged the Judean towns on the way home.
God told Amaziah he could not ally himself with the evil people of Israel. Amaziah responded that he’d already spent a lot of money on them. God told him to cut his losses. Better to lose all that silver than to go into battle with God against Him.
Amaziah does cut his losses, but he doesn’t learn the lesson. He foolishly adopts the gods of the Edomites, and God immediately effects his downfall. Here’s the point: no matter how successful you seem, it is God who determines your destiny, whether in this life or the next, God will have the final say.