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Ahaz’s Demise (2 Chronicles 28:16~27)
16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help.
17 The Edomites had again come and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners,
18 while the Philistines had raided towns in the foothills and in the Negev of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth Shemesh, Aijalon and Gederoth, as well as Soco, Timnah and Gimzo, with their surrounding villages.
19 The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful to the LORD.
20 Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to him, but he gave him trouble instead of help.
21 Ahaz took some of the things from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace and from the princes and presented them to the king of Assyria, but that did not help him.
22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD.
23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, "Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me." But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.
24 Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem.
25 In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.
26 The other events of his reign and all his ways, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
27 Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.
The Downward Spiral of Sin (28:16–23)
Even after receiving merciful treatment from Israel, King Ahaz not only refuses to repent, but he defiantly continues down a path of destruction. Surrounding nations continue to invade Judah, and Ahaz’s request for help from the king of Assyria causes more harm than good. In the midst of hardship, Ahaz becomes even more unfaithful to the LORD as he sacrifices to the gods of his enemies hoping to end his spiral of defeat. Continuing in a pattern of sin causes Ahaz’s heart to be ever hardened to God and His Word. The only thing Ahaz needs to do is humble himself before the LORD and seek Him. Then, God would surely restore him and heal the land. This promise still stands today.
- When do you find it hard to turn from your sin? How does God continue to show His patience toward you?
Sin Ceases Worship (28:24–27)
The evil in King Ahaz’s heart leads him into a final act of treachery: he destroys the temple’s furnishings and shuts the doors of the house of God, thus ending true worship in Judah. In its place, he erects altars of idolatry throughout the land. One consequence of persistent sin is that worship ceases. Wickedness causes us to flee from the LORD rather than to seek Him with a pure heart. In Ahaz’s case, not only does he refuse to turn to the LORD, he leads Judah to forsake the God of their ancestors. In our stubborn refusal to repent, we seek the company of other sinners so as to justify ourselves. We must remember, however, that it is the LORD alone who justifies the guilty if we acknowledge our wrong.
- When do you find it hard to worship the Lord? What promises from God help you to worship Him during tough times?
A letter to God
God, reveal to me the idols of my heart and help me to remove them from Your sight. Have mercy on me for seeking satisfaction from worldly things. I put my trust in Your blood that cleanses me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.