As we enter this New Year, let us PRESS ON in the things of the Lord and the ways of His kingdom.
Ahaz, unlike his father Jotham, was a demonically inspired king of Judah. He worshipped the Baals, burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, burned his children in the fire (see 2 Kings 16 comments); as did the nations who had been in the Promised Land before Israel came.
Judgment came in the form of bondage and servitude to Syria, which took a large number of them off to Damascus. They even fought with Israel and as many as one hundred and twenty thousand were killled as a result of having “forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.” There were strategic individuals that were killed by Zichri, including the one of Ahaz’s sons Maaseiah.
Two hundred thousand were taken captive from Judah by Israel, leading them back to Samaria.
A bright spot in all of this death and destruction, a prophet by the name of Oded brought a prophetic word to Israel that was a reproof about having taken captives from Judah. He warned the leaders of Ephraim not to enslave the people from Judah. As a result, they were clothed, fed and given other items of personal need. They even put the “feeble ones” on donkeys, rather than making them walk. These captives were ultimately led to Jericho.
Ahaz sent to the king of Syria for assistance, which was denied.
One would think that someone would turn to the Lord during such a time; yet we see that Ahaz “became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord.” He offered sacrifice to the gods of Syria, based solely on the fact he had been defeated by Syria, desiring them as a result of their having defeated Juday; not realizing that his defeat was judgment from the Lord.
Upon his death, Hezekiah his son came to rule Judah.
Let’s keep the door shut to any infiltration from the enemy and keep pressing on to know the Lord and all of His ways. The way may be difficult; yet God is able to empower us to overcome any obstacle or challenge or enemy of our faith. Especially as we cross over into the new days of 2017.