Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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
Ahaz had an idolatry-driven heart. One of his very first actions as king was to construct statues of the Baals (2 Chronicles 28:2). And his abandonment of the Lord went downhill from there. He seemed to have been on a personal campaign to worship every false god of the nations around Judah, sacrificing his own sons in pagan ritual (2 Chronicles 28:3-4). This quest for idolatry eventually led him to shutter up the temple of God (2 Chronicles 28:24) after he rid it of its treasure to appease foreign oppressors (2 Chronicles 28:20-21).
But the worst part of his unfaithfulness was the reasoning he gave for continuing after God disciplined him. He adopted the gods of his foes who defeated him in battle. His pagan gods did not help him, so he sought out even more pagan gods in his desperation. He assumed Syria's idols were superior since Judah was now subject to Syria. And he adopted the gods of Damascus as his own. It may have been fashionable, but it was a big mistake.
When we run from God, our logic twists in really weird ways. We don't even realize how stupid we are until it is too late. And by then, the damage is done. Ahaz was ruined (and all Israel with him) by his twisted religious thinking. Without God, our world will warp.