Lesson: King Amaziah's Distractions

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The kings of israel Sunday School Bible Lessons for childrenIn a continuation of the study of Israel’s Kings, this lesson covers King Amaziah.  He was not wholehearted in his obedience to God.  This lesson teaches students the dangers of distractions.  A life without focus will be filled with distractions that lead to a disobedient, defeated walk with God.
This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class.  It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs.  Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.

Bible Story Title: King Amaziah’s Distractions
Bible Passage2 Chronicles 25
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, microscope, telescope, or picture to use for ‘Focus activity’, copies for ‘Do you see Jesus activity’,
Learning Goal: Students will learn the importance of staying focused on God because distractions will lead them away from Him.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their comprehension by being able to answer review questions.  As they participate in the different learning activities they will be able to discover the concept of how distractions affect their focus.
Learning Activity #1: Focus Activity:  Use objects that can be focused (telescope, microscope etc.)  Have students look through the instrument with it unfocused and have them focus it to see clearly.  If you don’t have instruments available to focus, use a picture that has an item that you want the students to discover but it isn’t easy to locate because there are many objects in the picture (example:  Have a picture with a group of people in a park.  Choose an object in the picture. Tell the students that you want them to look for the object by giving them hints of what you want them to find without naming the object.  Why was the object difficult to find (many other things were in the picture.) Talk about what helps followers of Christ see God more clearly.  What causes believers to lose focus on God?
Learning Activity #2: Do you see Jesus? Give students a copy of the image and have them focus on the four dots for 30-40 seconds then close their eyes.  (Caution:  This activity is an optical illusion and is not intended for students to believe that the image they see is Jesus since no one knows exactly what He looks like.  Discuss how we are not to worship any images but God alone.)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: 1 Kings 18:21:  Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions?  If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
(Write the verse on the board and as you teach the verse fill in the place with Baal with things that distract us from keeping God first.)

Bible Lesson:  King Amaziah’s Distractions

Begin with prayer.
Optional:  Read the following devotion from Keys for Kids.
It is easier to accomplish any task without distractions.  How many of you can do your homework and watch TV?  Can you read a book and listen to the radio?  How about sit at your table writing a paper and watching others outside playing?  In order to do the best job you can on whatever task you are working on you have to stay focused.  If you have to turn off the TV, radio or etc. to stay focused that helps.  If you can’t remove the distractions what should you do?  (Pray for God to help you stay focused so you can do your task well and then be able to do those other things later.)
If you are a follower of Christ you have a daily task to walk with God and stay focused on Him.  What are things that should be a part of your daily life that keep you focused on Jesus?  (Prayer, Bible reading, Scripture Memory)
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 2 Chronicles 25.  (If you taught the lessons on Joash,  review with the students what they remember about his reign.)  Joash’s son Amaziah became king after Joash died.  Choose a volunteer to read 2 Chronicles 25:2.  This morning we have been talking about focus.  If Amaziah’s heart was not wholeheartedly obedient to God do you think his focus was fully on Him?  (Allow responses)
A divided heart is a distracted heart.  If a person desires to please God his daily aim has to be making God first place in every decision, activity and thought.
2 Chronicles 25:1-10 When Amaziah’s position as king was firmly in place he punished the leaders who killed his father.  Amaziah obeyed God’s laws and did not punish the sons of the leaders for their sin of killing King Joash.
When Amaziah began to build up his military he learned that there were 300,000 soldiers already to fight in any battle.  Amaziah wanted to make sure he had a large enough army so he hired 100,000 soldiers from the northern kingdom of Israel.  He paid 100 talents of silver to have them fight for him.
The Israelites living in the northern kingdom were rebellious and wicked towards God.  They disobeyed His laws and worshiped false gods.  Their sin was displeasing in His sight.
God sent a man to Amaziah and told him that he should not allow the soldiers from Israel to fight in his military.  God was not with these soldiers because of the sins of the northern kingdom.  If Amaziah went into battle with them God would not allow them to win against their enemy.
We begin to see Amaziah’s distractions by how he responds to this circumstance.  Choose volunteer to read verse 9.  Amaziah was concerned about the money he had spent for the Israelite troops.
A follower of Christ can only serve one master and He is Jesus.  (Matthew 6:24)  When believers choose to obey God’s voice they will receive more than they ever thought they lost by their obedience.  (Ephesians 3:20)
The Israelite soldiers were angry with Amaziah for his decision to send them home. (Verse 10)  If we obey God it will not always make those around us happy.  (Daniel 3:13,19) A follower of Jesus will not allow the happiness of others determine whether he/she will obey God.  (Luke 9:23-25)
2 Chronicles 25:11-16 God gives Amaziah a great victory in battle.  Whoever won a battle could take the plunder as their reward.  Amaziah took some of the plunder that he should have left where he found it.  Let’s see what Amaziah did that would hinder him from keeping his focus on God alone.  Read verse 14.
Worshiping anything or anyone other than God is idolatry (Exodus 20:1-6).  Amaziah’s decision was wicked and angered God.  God must punish sin because He is holy.  God is also merciful and doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10).  He shows mercy to Amaziah by sending a prophet to give him an opportunity to repent of his idol worship and live right before God.
Let’s read Amaziah’s response to God’s correction in verse 16. A person who is keeps their focus on God humbly accepts correction.  Amaziah was distracted by his own arrogance.  Instead of humbling himself to God’s authority by repenting he used his authority to threaten the prophet’s life.
2 Chronicles 25:17-28 The final thing we are going to look at that shows Amaziah’s distracted heart is found in how he picks a fight with Jehoash the king of Israel.  He didn’t seek God’s wisdom but sought the wisdom of his personal advisors (verse 17).  He was filled with pride over his recent victory over his enemy.  Bible scholars believe Amaziah may have had a couple of things in mind when he picked a fight with the king of Israel.  One possible reason-remember the angry soldiers that were sent home?  While Amaziah and his soldiers were fighting in their battle these Israelite soldiers went to some towns in Judea and killed 3,000 people and took a large amount of plunder (verse 13).  It is possible that Amaziah wanted to repay Israel for their sin against the southern kingdom.  Another possibility is that Amaziah wanted to make the divided kingdom one kingdom again  and he picked a fight with the intention of being king over both kingdoms.  It is not clearly written in Scripture why he made this decision these are only possibilities.
God was not pleased with Amaziah and what He told him through His prophet came true.  (Verse 16)  Let’s read verse 19 and see how Jehoash responded to Amaziah.  Amaziah did not listen and went to fight against Israel.  Let’s read 2 Chronicles 25:20-24. God punished Amaziah for worshiping false gods (verse 20).  Amaziah did not win this battle against Jehoash and we don’t see anywhere that he repented of his sin and turned back to God.
As we examine our lives with the Scriptures we have looked at today do we have a focused heart or a distracted heart?  Do we find ourselves distracted by the things around us that keep us from being focused on God’s best?  If you are living a life focused on God how are you guarding your relationship with Him so that you won’t be pulled away by distractions?
As we close in prayer talk to God about what He showed you about yourself from this lesson.  Pray that He will help you to obey what He told you to do.
Close in prayer.
Review Questions:

  1. (True or False)  Amaziah was wholeheartedly focused on pleasing God. (False)
  2. (True or False)  Amaziah was king over the southern kingdom. (True)
  3. Why did God tell Amaziah to send the hired soldiers from Israel home?  (They were wicked and if they fought in his army they would lose)
  4. Why was God angry with Amaziah?  (He brought the enemies’ idols home from battle and worshiped them)
  5. How did God show mercy to Amaziah?  (He sent a prophet to warn him)
  6. What were some of Amaziah’s distractions?  (Money, pride, seeking wisdom from others, rebellion to God’s prophet)
  7. What can we do to keep our focus on God? (pray, read Bible, memorize Scripture, ask others to pray)

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