Friday, 29th October 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-4 Wrong in the Beginning
V1-2 ‘In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done.’ The king of Judah, Ahaz, only reigned for sixteen years, this chapter talked about what he did during his reign and why was he unable to rule for longer.
V3-4 ‘But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.’ This king not only refused to follow God, but he also sacrificed the children of Israel, which was the ritual of foreign gods, it was even more wicked in the eyes of God compared to his forefathers. Ahaz inherited the kingdom of Judah, which God blessed for the sake of David, but he made the wrong decision in the very beginning, he worshipped with the idolatrous religious rituals at his reign.
Section Two V5-9 Wrong in the Overdoing
V5-6 ‘Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him. At that time Rezin king of Syria captured Elath for Syria, and drove the men of Judah from Elath. Then the Edomites went to Elath, and dwell there to this day.’ A lot of things happened during this time, first, the king of Syria came to fight against the kingdom of Judah, then they captured Elath, Judah was driven out from Elath, and the Edomites also went to live in Elath.
In II Chronicles 28, it gives more details about Ahaz’s reign, why was he wrong at the beginning. First, he did not seek God when he came across problems, he saw the other nations were powerful, so he worshipped their idols. ‘Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.’ (II Chronicles 28:5-6) Ahaz brought destruction upon himself, because he sinned against God and made Him furious. Therefore, God sent the people of Israel to go against Judah, trying to give Judah a lesson so they would turn back. But the people of Israel also did not follow God’s Will, they were walking before God and slaughtered the people of Judah. They overdo God’s Will and it also displeased God.
‘Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord. This is that King Ahaz. For he sacrificed 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.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.’ (II Chronicles 28:22-23) Ahaz did not see God was with him, he thought he had to seek other gods to help him. A lot of times when we are in troubles, we don’t see God with us, we only want to hold onto the earthly things we can see. But by doing this, we sin against God. The way of God may not be the way we expected, but are we willing to believe God is doing us good?
So many times, God wanted His people to turn back, but the people did not treasure the relationship they had with God. they went around to worshipping other gods because they thought God did not care about them. This was also the beginning of the destruction of the kingdom of Judah.
Section Three V10-20 Wrong in the Rebellious
V10 ‘Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.’ Ahaz sought help from the king of Assyria, who helped to fight against Israel and Syria. Therefore, when Assyria won the battle, Ahaz built an alter of the gods of Assyria and worshipped on it.
The Temple of God was built in accordance with the exact instructions of God, therefore when Ahaz was trying to build the alter according to his own dimensions, he greatly displeased God. V15 ‘Then King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “On the great new altar burn the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. And the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.”’ It seemed that, deep inside his heart, Ahaz still knew there was God, yet he still insisted to carry things out according to his own will. Because he was rebellious and prideful, he thought becoming a king, he could do anything he wanted to.
What do we choose? The Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? From the life of Ahaz, we learn that God is always there, but being rebellious will only take us further and further away from God’s Way, and at the end, to the path of destruction. Today, let us come back to God, who has been waiting for us to turn back!
列王纪下 16 – 败亡之路
犹大王亚哈斯登基时20岁，一直做到36岁 – 在本该是风华正茂的年纪就离开了，这是因为他“不像他祖大卫行耶和华他神眼中看为正的事， 却效法以色列诸王所行的，又照着……外邦人所行可憎的事”。之前的犹大王只是没有除去丘坛，让百姓继续在那里烧香，但是亚哈斯自己就去学要败亡的以色列国，甚至将自己的儿子烧了献给外邦人偶像。如此错误的起步导致他最后的败亡。