By D’Ann Davis
“In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord—this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, ‘Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.’ But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.” – 2 Chronicles 28:22-23
Times were stressful in the life of King Ahaz. He was designated as a king who did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord earlier in verse one. As a result, the Lord gave the nation of Judah into the hands of the Syrians and the Israelites, and He had allowed the Philistines and Edomites to invade and win victories throughout Judah. Continuing in his sin, Ahaz did not humble himself and seek help from the Lord, but instead sought help from the Assyrians, a nation that would ultimately be a tool of the Lord to bring down Israel.
Verses 22-23 give some insight into the mindset of Ahaz as he responded to the extreme stressors in his life. He figured since the gods of Damascus had defeated him before and seemed to help his enemies, then he might as well bow down to those gods as well. This refusal to repent and seek the Lord led to his downfall.
A shallow reading of the text might tempt one to judge Ahaz as more foolish than one’s self, but it would be negligent not to realize that anyone can fall prey to this mindset. A fall to a habitual sin does not lead to getting up and walking in repentance, but a further indulgence in the sin. A minor defeat leads to a major acquiescence on the sinner’s part. It is not a minor fall to fantasy, lust, or pornography. It’s a three-day binge. It is not a failure to ignore an ex’s text, it’s a weekend-long or years-long return to sin and death.
As believers we have got to remember that losing a battle to the enemy does not excuse turning to worship that enemy and looking for our salvation from the one who got the best of us in that particular battle. A loss calls for a return to our Deliverer. It calls for repentance to the one true God and King. Let’s stop returning to sin because we took a few steps backward. Let’s get up, move forward, and seek the Lord with all of our hearts and souls, knowing that we have a Great High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. Let’s stop binging and start repenting. Let’s find life in Christ and avoid ruin. Let’s learn from King Ahaz’s mistakes.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace that You freely offer us in our times of need. Thank You that it was for freedom that You set us free and thus we need not seek salvation in the slavery we fell prey to in our sin. Help us to only worship You and to love You with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength. Help us not turn away from You to serve other gods but please keep our eyes on You, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Thank You for Your forgiveness and grace dear Lord. We love You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.