Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them. And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. Then his servants conspired against him and killed him in his own house. But the people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place. Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. (2 Chronicles 33:21-34:2)
In The Sight Of The Lord
Two kings of Judah are contrasted by a single identifying mark of character: whom they served. The first king was 22 when he became king and reigned for only two years. The second king was a mere boy of 8 years when the kingdom was thrust upon him and he ruled for 31 years. Amon died at the age of 24 by the hand of his servants and Josiah died at the age of 39 in the battle against the king of Egypt named Necho. There was great lamenting at the death of Josiah including Jeremiah the prophet. Nothing is said of the mourning for Amon. Josiah was remembered for his goodness but Amon is forgotten as a worthless king who served himself. For many years after the death of Josiah, the Laments filled the hearts of the people as they sang of Josiah in their lamentations. No songs were written for Amon.
The chronicle tells the short life of Amon as almost an afterthought. He ruled the people of God for two years but the text says that he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. The people of the land made his eight-year-old son king and Josiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David. Amon and Josiah walking in the sight of the Lord and how they walked in the sight of the Lord determined their remembrance and their eternal destiny. Amon’s father ruled Judah for 55 years and died at the age of 67. His influence upon Amon was clear and tragic. Amon walked in the ways of his father and did much evil in the sight of the Lord. Josiah had a clearer view of his service to God and sought to fill his reign with the righteousness of God. One king lived an evil life and another king sought to do things right in his life. They both walked in the sight of the Lord.
All men stand naked before the Creator who holds the universe in his hand and possesses the breath of man. There is no place on earth that a man can go that God is not there. Standing on the peak of Mt. Everest is merely a footnote in the mind of the One who formed the mountains. Seeking shelter from the eyes of the Lord at the bottom of the Mariana Trench is useless. Cloaking oneself with the veil of darkness is all but bright sunlight to the eyes of the Lord. Whispers ring loud in the ears of the Lord and the mind of God retains every word and deed said and done in a man’s lifetime. Compared to the magnificence of the presence of the Lord the exaltation of humanity is nothing but dust on a scale; hardly measurable.
Life is measured not by the heroics of a man’s life, achievements, awards, wealth, or knowledge. Everything a person is can be defined by how he walks in the sight of the Lord. All of the deeds of Amon were revealed before the face of the Lord as were the deeds of Josiah. They both walked in the sight of the Lord and what made the eternal difference for each man was how they walked. The question is never if a man lives in the sight of the Lord but rather how a man walks in the sight of the Lord. Every soul that has lived will be measured by the manner of his life beheld by the eternal gaze of the heavenly Father. Through the mercy of God, each soul is a free-will creation who makes a choice in his life to serve the Lord or to live for himself. Death comes to all men and then the judgment. What happens in eternity is what God has seen in life. All men walk in the sight of the Lord. What are you showing your Creator?