Fine Arts Bible Study 3

Amaziah “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.” (2 Chronicles 25:2)

There are many non-Christians who donate to charity, help out in soup kitchens, and volunteer to do the yardwork of an elderly neighbor. They do it because they have the idea planted somewhere in their brains that those things are the right things to do (and they may even cite “The Good Book” or “The Man Upstairs” as the reason, although they have not shown any true devotion to God or His Word). Christians themselves often get burdened with doing things for church, but not out of loyalty to God. If we get wrapped up in activities we think we should be doing, but close ourselves off from God in the process, we will bear little good fruit and risk missing out on His blessings.

Amaziah, the king of Judah, started off his reign by avenging his father’s murder, and then raising up a mercenary army. He had quite a bit of military success, but eventually started to worship the gods of Edom, one of the cities he conquered (2 Chronicles 25:15). Finally, it says, “But Amaziah refused to listen, for God was determined to destroy him for turning to the gods of Edom” (verse 20, NLT). A person who does good things, but has no real loyalty to God, runs the risk of valuing the things that have no value over those things that are incredibly important. In doing this we are like Amaziah, who eventually got so sucked into the idea of conquering Edom, he adopted their gods and either would not or could not hear and obey what God was telling him to do.

What was it that Amaziah would not heed because it came from God? A poem or a metaphor sent to him from Jehoash, the King of Israel, whom Amaziah had challenged to battle. The poem went like this: “The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as wife’; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.” Yet verse 20 says that Amaziah would not heed it because he was not open to the things of God. Later in the story, we see that God let Jehoash attack Jerusalem and ransack the temple because of Amaziah’s stubbornness, and eventually Amaziah paid with his life.

Questions to ponder:

*** 1. If Amaziah had been serving God rather than worshiping the gods of Edom, would he have been more receptive to the poetic metaphor the King of Israel sent to him? How does serving God with a loyal heart make people interpret art differently?

2. Whether the artwork is a dance, a drama, a painting, a song, or, as in this case, a poem, how does it change the delivery when a Christian loyal to God creates it either for: a) other Christians who are also loyal to God, or b) people who may not necessarily be Christian or loyal to God?

3. Do you ever find yourself responding to art, music or poetry differently depending on your mood or life situation? Do you feel more receptive and understanding of things when you are more spiritually attuned to how God is working in your life? Do you feel like your receptivity to the Bible is also affected by moods and situations? ***

What are your thoughts on these questions? Read the Bible, pray about these three questions, and post your considerate response/discussion under this topic.

For our first Fine Arts Bible Study, click here.

For our second Fine Arts Bible Study, click here.

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