2 Chronicles 28
“For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 28:19, NKJV)
A bad leader can have a disastrous effect on the people he leads. Such was the case with Ahaz, king of Judah. His father Jotham had been a good king, so what went wrong? Ahaz had his own agenda. He chose to abandon the faith of his fathers. He worshiped the Baals and even sacrificed his own children in the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom.
The wickedness of Ahaz had disastrous consequences on the kingdom of Judah. The king of Syria took a large number of the people captive to Damascus. The king of Israel also killed 120,000 of Judah’s best warriors because they had abandoned the LORD, the God of their ancestors. The Edomites and Philistines attacked and captured many towns in Judah. Rather than humbling himself and seeking the LORD, Ahaz sought help from the king of Assyria. But when he entered Jerusalem, he attacked Ahaz rather than helping him. Ahaz took treasures from the temple, from his own house, and from his leaders and gave them to the Assyrian king to appease him. Ahaz went to Damascus to meet with him and saw an idolatrous altar. He commanded the priest Urijah to make a copy of it and put it in the courtyard of the temple in Jerusalem. Ahaz then sacrificed on this new altar, saying, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” Finally, Ahaz cut in pieces the articles of the house of the LORD and closed its doors. Undoubtedly, he was Judah’s worst king!
Just because we have been raised in a godly household or in a good church doesn't mean that we are Christians. It has been said that God does not have any grandchildren—only children. Having godly parents is definitely an asset, but we cannot ride on the coattails of our parents’ faith to get into heaven. We must each choose to deny ourselves and trust in the LORD with all our hearts.
At times we look at our leaders and their bad decisions and throw up our hands. Is there no hope? It just seems like things are going from bad to worse. Could it be that God is allowing these things to happen to get our attention as He did with Ahaz and Judah? We shudder to think of God having to bring America even lower, but shouldn’t we expect this when our nation is in a downward spiral of moral decline?
And yet in the days of Ahaz there was a new king on the horizon. His son was Hezekiah, and he would be nothing like his father. They say the night is darkest just before the dawning of a new day. We must pray for our nation, for our leaders, and for ourselves that God would grant us repentance. We must pray that the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in His wings to bring light to a new generation (Malachi 4:2).
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6, NKJV)