May 29

 

Read II Chronicles 28 -- 30

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Ahaz reigns in Judah; Syria (Aram) and Israel defeat Judah; death of Ahaz; Hezekiah's reign; worship restored in the Temple

 

Ahaz had the wonderful heritage of a godly father Jotham (see II Chronicles 27:6). But Ahaz was one of the most wicked kings in Judah's history, for he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made . . . molten images (cast idols) for Baalim. Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned (sacrificed) his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. . . . Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote (defeated) him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter (28:2-3,5).

 

Because of the great wickedness of King Ahaz, the kingdom of Judah continued to suffer serious losses of territory. The Edomites gained their independence from Judah on the southeast. The Philistines raided Judah's cities in the southwest and occupied them (see 28:17-18). Thousands of its people were taken as slaves into other countries (see 28:5-17).

 

Regrettably, the many defeats of Ahaz never caused him to humble himself and repent. He fiercely rejected the Lord and sacrificed to the gods of Damascus (28:23). And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the House of God, and cut in pieces the vessels . . . and shut up the doors of the House of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every . . . city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers (28:24-25).

 

In this tragic account of Ahaz, king of Judah, the Lord is warning us of the awful fate of those who turn from Him. Just as Ahaz attempted to suppress the worship of the One True God, the unsaved world, with all of its deceptive attractions, attempts to suppress our loyalty and obedience to the Lord. To overcome these hindrances and remain faithful we need to pray each day: Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your Law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of Your Commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken (renew) . . . me in Your way (Psalm 119:34-37).

 

Christ Portrayed:

 

By King Hezekiah who offered an intercessory prayer for every one. That prepares his heart to seek God (II Chronicles 30:18-19). Jesus Christ our King, now seated at the right hand of God, intercedes in prayer for all who continue to seek Him (John 17:9,20; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1).

 

Word Studies:

 

28:3 Hinnom transliterated into Greek as Gehenna, was used by Jesus to illustrate the place of eternal punishment (translated as hell in the New Testament); 28:10 keep under = subdue; 28:15 shod them = gave them sandals; 28:25 several = single; 30:6 posts = runners, couriers; 30:22 comfortably = encouragingly; 30:23 took counsel = agreed.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX) and Rep. Jerry Moran (KS) · Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia · Major languages: Arabic and English · No evangelical work is permitted · 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 16

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 4:4