The Old Testament records a revealing statement in 2 Chronicles 17:16. It reads, “…Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord…” (NKJV). The book of 2 Chronicles is one of the least studied books in the Bible. This biblical declaration is one that is easy to miss when reading through the chapter. Yet, it brings to mind some practical applications that will benefit us as we strive to give our best efforts in the Lord’s service.
“Amasiah, the son of Zichri.” The text does not merely say that there was a man who “willingly offered himself to the Lord,” but we know his name. More importantly, the Lord knew his name. It is also true that the Lord knows our individual service to Him. Furthermore, the Lord expects us to be active in His service. The apostle Paul exhorted, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).
“Willingly.” This describes the service Amasiah rendered to the Lord. He did not have to be begged, but he readily offered himself. Willing service, rather than service that is rendered reluctantly, pleases the Lord. The Lord’s message to Solomon emphasizes this point. “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts…” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Charles Spurgeon commented, “Service willingly rendered has a fragrance and a bloom about it that make it most delightful and acceptable.”
“Offered Himself.” Amasiah neither offered a material possession, nor did he hire someone to work. Instead, Amasiah devoted his own or personal efforts. This attitude is found in Romans 12:1, as Paul urged Christians, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
“To the Lord.” Amasiah’s service was directed toward the Lord. While many others engaged in the same work as Amasiah, his purpose was to please the Lord. This was the driving force of his efforts. The same is to be true of us as well. We learn from Romans 12:11, “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Viewing our service as being to the Lord provides us with the proper perspective. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23).
Second Chronicles 17:16 depicts the attitude, followed by corresponding activity, which ought to characterize every Christian today. Irrespective of in which religious dispensation children of God lived or live – Patriarchy, Judaism or Christianity – willingly offering oneself to God is commendable. We, today, need to adopt the disposition the Macedonians of 2 Corinthians 8:5 where “they first gave themselves to the Lord.”
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. “Wanted! – Volunteers.” The Spurgeon Center. 14 Oct 2022. <https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/wanted-volunteers#flipbook/>.