“Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father” (2 Kings 16:2).TEXT — 2 Kings 16:1-9
What even unbelievers appreciate about the Bible, apart from its prophetic declarations and irrefutable wisdom and many other attributes, is its unpretentious narratives. In the Bible, God expressly permitted stories of the failures, fall and frailties of great kings, prophets and leaders. He also caused to be revealed how those who trusted Him bounced back. There is no cover-up of the tendencies or weaknesses of any of His prophets and people.
The Scripture’s record about the reign of Ahaz, one of the kings of Judah, shows that “he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father”. He relegated God in his decision-making. When there were threats to the territorial integrity of Judah, he plundered the house of the Lord and gave its treasures to the Assyrian king in exchange for military protection from the aggressors, instead of leaning on God for deliverance.
Ahaz went on to commit more abominations that alienated him from God. He caused an altar like those of the heathen to be constructed in Jerusalem, upon which he worshipped. Thus, for all of his reign of sixteen years, Ahaz scorned the Lord.
We need to pray for leaders not to embark on destructive decisions that could turn the people away from God. After Ahaz forsook the Lord, his trajectory henceforth became predictable. He began the worship of idols from his tender age of twenty. No wonder his era attracted wars. While we are charged to obey those in authority, we must be discreet not to follow in their missteps by getting involved in similar sinful practices and remaining indifferent to matters that receive divine approval.
Thought for the day
Praying for our leaders is in our national and collective interest.
- in one year
- 2 KINGS 18 – 19