Ahaz’s Evil Reign in Judah

William Temple made made biblical worship clear in his masterful definition of worship: “For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His b … More

Substitute

Upon Jotham’s death, his son Ahaz became the king and ruled for 16 years. He was a shocking contrast to his father and ranked with Judah’s wicked kings. He even went so far as to sacrifice his own son as a burnt offering to an idol. This practice was associated with the worship of Moleck, the national god of the Ammonites.

Israel and Syria governed by Rezin and Pekah who had formed a coalition to the north invaded Judah (2 Chron. 28:5-l5). The casualties inflicted upon Judah were heavy with l20,000 killed in one day and 200,000 carried away captive. This was indeed Judah’s darkest hour. Thoroughly frightened Ahaz appealed to Assyria for help. To pay for this assistance, gold was taken from the temple.

Ahaz traveled to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser III. While there he saw an altar he liked very much. He sent Uriah the high priest in Jerusalem a sketch of this altar with instructions for him to build one just like it. When Ahaz returned home he had the bronze altar in the temple moved aside to give a prominent place to the new altar. He then commanded that all regular offerings be made on the new altar. This emphasized two things:

(l) It stood in a prominent place as a symbol of allegiance to Assyria.

(2) It was used as a substitute for worship.

Application

Ahaz allowed the king of Assyria to replace God as Judah’s leader. No one, no matter how attractive or powerful, should substitute God’s leadership in my our life.

II Kings 16:1-20 (English Standard Version)


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