From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Today’s Bible readings are 2 Chronicles 28 and 2 Kings 16-17. The readings describe the life of one of Judah’s most wicked and unrighteous kings – King Ahaz. From a socio-psychological perspective, King Ahaz’ life is not logical. Ahaz’ father, Jotham, was a good king. He was a good role model for his son, but Ahaz was rotten to the core. He was an extremely bad example for his son, Hezekiah who turned out to be a good person and king. Sociologists and psychologists advocate people are a product of their influences or associates and this is true in most cases. Even the Apostle Paul affirms bad associates or influences can or may corrupt people’s lives (cf. I Cor. 15:33). My point is - it’s not absolute that if the parents or associates are good influences that the child or children are going to be good; on the other hand, it’s not absolute that if the parents or associates are bad that the child or children will be bad. Therefore, God instructs in the Book of Ezekiel that the child shall not bear the iniquities of the parents (Ezek. 18:19-20). King Ahaz became a rotten person in spite of his good example.
King Ahaz became king at the young age of 20 and reigned over Judah for 16 years. He set up idols and images of foreign gods and committed abominations by worshipping these gods (2 Chron. 28:2-3). He even worshipped the god Molech by offering his children. In Leviticus 20:1-5, God pronounced the death sentence against all who worshipped this god.
God was very displeased with King Ahaz and allowed King Aram to defeat him in battle. He lost more than 120,000 men in battle and over 200,000 women and children were carried off as captives to Damascus. King Ahaz still didn’t learn his lesson. Instead of repenting and giving his heart to God, he got worse. He sought out the help of the Assyrian king. He gave the king of Assyria treasures from the temple, but he refused to give his assistance.
During this difficult time, King Ahaz’ spiritual life continued to decline. He turned completely from God and began to sacrifice “to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying ‘Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me’” (2 Chron. 28:23). But instead of helping him, the false gods were the ruin of King Ahaz and his people.
Isaiah makes the following statement in Isaiah 9:16, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.” Because of King Ahaz’ wickedness, he led the people of God into captivity by the Assyrians. While he was the leader of God’s people, many of them turned from God to serving idols.
Leaders can be a powerful influence for good or bad. Thus, prayer for guidance from God, and knowledge should be sought and used in selecting a leader. May God grant us all three as we select the next President of this country!