-Ahaz, who was the son of Jotham, became the king at the age of twenty and reigned until his death at the age of thirty-six (16 year reign). He did not do right in the eyes of the LORD acting wickedly in all manner of life. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel with idolatry making molten images for the Baals. He burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom and even burned his sons in fire according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills and under every green tree (2 Chronicles 28:1-4). Because of this, the LORD delivered him into the hands of enemy kings both from Aram and Israel. The Arameans took away captives, and Israel would have too if not for the prophet Oded’s warning words and some sympathy on the part of some Israelites with a conscience and some guilt (2 Chronicles 28:5-15).
-Ahaz sent to the king (or kings in some later translations) of Assyria for help. The Edomites had come on attack and also carried away captives. The Philistines had attacked and taken back cities and villages in the Negev to the south. “For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had brought about a lack of restraint in Judah and was very unfaithful to the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:16-19).” Tilgath-pilneser, king of Assyria, also came against him instead of helping him and would not accept bribes from the portions from the house of the LORD for benefit. Even in his time of distress, King Ahaz became more unfaithful to the LORD and His ways. He sacrificed to the gods who had defeated him in battle, and they became his downfall as well as all Israel. He closed the doors of the house of God and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah he erected high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked the LORD to anger. He died a defeated man buried in the city of Jerusalem, but not in the tombs of the kings of Israel. Now his son Hezekiah would come along after him and restore some holiness in the land (2 Chronicles 28:20-32:33).
-*Application* Ahaz is a great example of what wayward and ineffective leadership can bring. Instead of being strong and courageous, like many of his ancestors, in the power and might of the LORD, he capitulated to foreign powers and alternative gods. This only kindled the anger of God more and more against him and his people. The nation suffered greatly because of his disobedience and total lack of faith (Proverbs 25:19). As a leader, we must see the necessity of turning to the LORD for our help and deliverance. He is the One who is our ever present help in time of trouble (Psalm 37:38; 46:1). Going after idols is vain (Psalm 36:1, Jonah 2:8).
Verses to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 28:19, 22