Sunday, January 14, 2018

Year 8, Day 14: 2 Kings 16

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In 2 Kings 16 we meet Ahaz, the next king in the line of Judah.  Unlike the two kings that came before him, Ahaz does not do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.  In fact, he even offers his son as a sacrifice.  He brings back the old religion that was being worshipped by the Canaanites.  The Bible even hints at the fact that such acts were the reason that the Canaanites were kicked out in the first place!

What I find interesting is that Ahaz’s contempt for God is obvious in so many other dynamics.  When Israel and Syria come against Judah, Ahaz turns to Assyria for help instead of God.  Note that he doesn’t turn to his own gods, either.  Ahaz doesn’t have an eye for spirituality; Ahaz has an eye for the natural world and what is best for him.

In fact, when Assyria comes and saves Judah, Ahaz goes to meet the king of Assyria.  Along the way, he sees the altar in Damascus.  These are the altars that initially led to Israel’s fall away from God back when the kingdom split apart.  Ahaz sends the designs back to Jerusalem and orders the priest to duplicate them.  Then, Ahaz goes into the temple of God and begins to repurpose the temple furnishings for his own purposes!

As if this isn’t bad enough, one of the true places of sorrow in this chapter comes here.  The priest goes through with the king’s plan.  Naturally, the priest was probably in a position of listening to the king or losing his position (and perhaps his life).  The priest chooses to keep his position and follow the king’s wishes instead of standing up for the Lord.  It is sad when people choose their own material security instead of spiritual righteousness, but I find it especially troubling when a priest makes that choice.  If anyone should have been able to say no to the king, it should have been Uriah the priest.