Ahaz the Loser

I enjoy reading through the Old Testament. The accounts of men and women and their journey of faith (and unfaithfulness) I find intriguing. 2 Chronicles 27 is a very short chapter, only 9 verses. But it talks about Jotham, son of Uzziah who reigned as king for 16 years. Verse 6 gives us a snapshot of his character and reign. It says this “Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God”

Jotham dies and his son Ahaz takes the throne at the age of 20. He is not like his father. Verse 2 tells us, “He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of God.” The text goes on later to say that he offered sacrifices to the pagan Gods. And later that “all heaven was disturbed” by his actions. Toward the end of his forgettable reign, he says “I will sacrifice to them (foreign gods) so they will help me”. By the way, they did not.

It’s not politically or socially correct to call someone a loser. Oh well. Ahaz was pathetic. He had a godly father, and his successor, his son Hezekiah turns the kingdom 180 degrees back to the Lord.
Why do children with a good example to follow end up spiritual losers? Tough question to answer. Was the pressure too much? Was the advice of peers too compelling? Did the pride of being king at 20 go to his head? Did he hate his father? Maybe all of this and more. There are no guarantees that children follow the godly examples of parents.

Sad thing is, not only does this affect Ahaz, the collateral damage is all over his kingdom. That’s the way sin works, it has ripple effects. The story line of the Old Testament reminds us again and again of the blessings bestowed on the people when their leaders followed the Lord. There were kings who clearly understood who really was King, and kings who did not.

One of the important questions in life has to do with this very issue. “Who is King?” That’s a great question to ponder for all of us. You may not be on the throne of Galloway or Absecon (that’s unfortunate…. having a king might be fun) but when we take a hard look at our walk with Jesus, our own pride, the way we spend our time and money, and the things most important to us… we may find that something is king in our lives besides the true King. Careful examining of our own hearts and minds is always a good and godly exercise!

If today you find that you, or someone, or something, are on the throne instead of Jesus… the way back is the way of repentance and resurrender to his Kingship. As Israel’s most beloved King put it: “Search my heart O Lord, see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way!”

We, by Gods grace, can make course corrections that bless us and those around us. We are not the ultimate King! Wise men and women will continue to remember that.

Pete Nelson