Ahaz, who is also called Achaz in Matthew 1:9, was king of Judah and son of Jotham. Little if anything good is said about him either in the books of the Kings or the Chronicles. Although only twenty when he ascended to the throne (2 Kings 16:2), Ahaz seems to have immediately opposed the teachings of the Mosaic Law. His first acts as king were to sacrifice in the high places, make molten images of Balaam and to revive the worship of Moloch in the valley of Hinnom (2 Chron. 28:2-3). According to 2 Kings 16:3, he made his own son “pass through the fire.” The inspired writer of 1 & 2 Chronicles asserts quite strongly: he “burnt his children in the fire” (2 Chron. 28:3).
Demonstrating his mixed faith, Ahaz attempted many ways to get help from someone or something. His contradictory actions were manifested when he duplicated the Damascus altar on which he burned incense, while at the same time desiring God’s help by offering incense on the brass altar, which had been in front of the house of the Lord (2 Kings 16:15). Because he coveted the king of Assyria’s help, he sought it by altering the king’s entry to the temple of God to open a way for the king of Assyria to enter his own house (2 Kings 16:18). This was a direct insult to God. Although Ahaz desired to have the Lord’s answers to his enquiries, he insulted Him by taking the brass laver from the twelve oxen on which Solomon had set it and placing it on a pavement of stones.
Our focus for this lesson is the fact that Ahaz coveted the altar of a heathen nation, a nation which he had conquered (2 Kings 16:9-20), and even required Urijah the priest to build one like it before the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 16:10). From that time on, Ahaz worshipped at the new altar every evening. Either he ignored God’s warning in the Law given through Moses, or like some of us today, he had not studied enough to know what God required.
Deut 12:29-32—When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Nevertheless, God showed His marvelous love and patience by trying to bring Ahaz to repentance through the prophet Isaiah. Using Isaiah, God offered to give Ahaz a sign (miracle), but Ahaz refused the offer. Although God announced the promised Savior to Ahaz (Isa 7:10-17), and tried to work with him, he would not listen. Ahaz would not turn to God and trust Him for deliverance from his enemies. Instead, he coveted man’s help as well as the help of dumb idols so that he became more and more involved in idolatry day by day. Ultimately Ahaz was destroyed spiritually and Judah was conquered by enemy nations. At his death, Ahaz was buried but not in the royal tombs (2 Chron. 28:27).
1.What was Ahaz trying to do when he took materials from the temple and from the houses of royalty to give to the king of Assyria (2 Chron. 28:21)?
2.When did Ahaz trespass more and more (2 Chron. 28:22)? What should he have done?
3.What is ironic about the fact that Ahaz sacrificed to the gods of Damascus (2 Chron. 28:23)?
4.What did Ahaz do to the holy vessels of the House of the Lord (2 Chron. 28:24-25)?
5.How did Ahaz disobey the Lord’s command in Jeremiah 10:2?
6.What do the heathen do (Jer. 10:3-5)?
7.How was Psalm 106:39-43 relevant to the life and death of Ahaz?
8.What did Ahaz do that was described in Ezekiel 43:8?
9.Romans 1:28-29 describes symptoms of sin which God has given a kind of people over to. What sin listed in that group was Ahaz particularly guilty of?
10.What causes God to give up and turn Satan loose on some people (Rom. 1:28)?
11.What are we supposed to do according to Colossians 3:5?
12.By what are we not redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18-19)? By what are we redeemed?