King Ahaz was undoubtedly one of the worst rulers of the southern kingdom of Judah. His blatant idol worship was bad enough, but to ho as far as to sacrifice his first born son as part of his idolatry showed just how far he moved away from Yahweh.
The sixteenth chapter of 2 Kings, focuses on the lengths Ahaz went to in order to protect Judah and Jerusalem. When put under siege by Israel and Aram, he showed little reluctance in using the valuable items that belonged to the temple of the Lord as payment to Assyria to gain their help in defeating their enemy. The flagrant neglect and disregard for the temple of the Lord deteriorated further when Ahaz took a trip to Damascus.
There he allowed the religious influence of Assyria to shape the way he went about his idolatrous worship. That is to say, because Assyria had helped, he took it upon himself to mimic their altar and way of worship. This was done in the temple that had been set apart for the Lord.
Episodes like this in the life of the nation of Judah, with the full cooperation of the priest at the time indicates how far men will go in their pursuit of retaining power. Such blatant neglect of God and preference for what the neighbours are doing can be a strong influence today. Just because it might gain respite in the short term, it is to be noted it can also mean there are serious consequences in the long term. It’s a reminder to never lose sight of God who truly delivers, rather than following those whose help comes at great cost.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden