April 15, 2020: Day 74 – II Kings 16April 23, 2020
We move from the last of the kings of Israel to the worst of the King of Judah, or the south. We find ourselves in the reign of Ahaz who was the weakest and the worst king in the history of the south. All of the other kings we read did what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, at least in the south, but Ahaz instead we read: “He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord.” In fact, he is compared to the kings of the north and it is stated that he walked in their ways. He was so bad that he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice to foreign gods in order to protect himself. Look at vs.3 and we see that example as well as the example of him offering up the people of God to foreign gods and idols.
As a result of his weakness the people of Israel and the people of Aram decide to attack him and he reaches out for help to the king of Assyria. With the help of the Assyrians they are able to kill the king of Aram and take the people of Israel and Aram into captivity. Ahaz is thrilled to the point of telling his priest, who should be leading the people to a worship of Almighty God, to build an altar to the gods of the Assyrians. He does, and does a great job of replicating the same kind of gods that the Assyrian king would want and be glad to see.
What basically happens is that king Ahaz cannibalizes the temple and uses important materials which the Lord said should be in there, in order to please a foreign king and god. It is not going to work out well for either the north or the south after this chapter. You can just tell.