Highlights In Today's Reading:
Twenty years old, in charge of the kingdom, and living like the devil (28:1-4), Ahaz faces the Lord his God (28:5-8). Read why (28:19). The prophets of God speak for the people (28:9-15). God always saves His seed. Ahaz' son Hezekiah reigns and the Spirit of the Lord returns to Judah (chap. 29). Read about the Passover observance — what a celebration (30:26).
Ahaz had the wonderful heritage of a godly father Jotham, and a godly grandfather, Uzziah — both of whom were among the better kings of Judah (27:6; 26:4-5). But Ahaz was one of the most wicked kings in the history of Judah. He promoted the false worship of Baal, which had long dominated the Northern Kingdom (28:2) as well as the worship of Molech, the savage god of the Ammonites. King Ahaz sacrificed at least one son there in the Valley of Hinnom (II Kin. 16:3; II Chr. 28:3).
Molech's huge metal image had a human figure with a bull's head. It was made hot by a fire around it. The children were laid in its arms and rolled from there into the fiery lap below. The screams were drowned out by the noise of flutes and drums. Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and . . . the king of Israel . . . smote him with a great slaughter (28:5). Ahaz robbed the Temple of its gold and costly furnishings, drained the national treasury, confiscated the resources of leading citizens, and gave it all to the Assyrian king to have him attack the Northern Kingdom and Syria. Because of his wickedness, his kingdom suffered serious losses of territory and strength (28:21; II Kin. 16:8).
Still, Ahaz vehemently rejected the Lord. During his reign he encountered many defeats in war, and thousands of his people were taken as slaves by neighboring nations. As the nation grew weaker, the people lost all hope that the promised Messiah would come; but at this time the Lord gave Isaiah a glorious revelation. Isaiah attempted to encourage the king with a prophetic message from the Lord, but Ahaz responded with contempt (Is. 7:3-13). Wicked Ahaz could not thwart the fulfillment of the promise God gave of Immanuel (God with us). Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel. . . . For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (7:14; 9:6; Matt. 1:20-23).
Just as Ahaz did everything he could to suppress the true worship of God, Satan attempts to discourage and defeat the people of God. The world with all of its attractions is constantly endeavoring to draw us away from the Lord, but we have nothing to fear if we remain faithfully committed to Him.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised) (Heb. 10:23).
Thought for Today:
No matter what the devil would like to do to us, he cannot overcome the power of the Name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10).
By King Hezekiah who offered an intercessory prayer for every one That prepareth his heart to seek God (II Chr. 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 (Rom. 8:34). Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Col. 3:1).
28:3 Hinnom (Gehenna — translated as “hell” in the New Testament); 28:10 keep under =b> make slaves; 28:15 shod them =b> gave them sandals; 28:25 several =b> single; 30:6 posts =b> runners, couriers; 30:22 comfortably =b> encouragingly; 30:23 took counsel =b> agreed.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX), Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD), and Rep. Jerry Moran (KS) • Country: Nepal (24.3 million) a mountain-ringed Himalayan state between Tibet and India • Major language: Nepali • Limited religious freedom • 85% Hindu; 10% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for ways to share His love with others (Heb. 6:10).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 16
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:32