SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Ahaz becomes king and seems to have no redeeming qualities. He leads the people away from worshipping God and to worship idols (false gods). He introduces child sacrifice and even sacrifices his own children (verses 1-5). Later he alters and takes away items from the temple so that God could not be worshipped in the way the people were supposed to, then closed the temple so people could not go in to worship God at all (verses 24-25).
- Ahaz and the nation he has led into idolatry suffer all kinds of horrible consequences for losing their way (attacks by other countries, including nations that were usually enemies coming together to attack them).
- Ahaz rebels against God, and then suffers a long series of consequences for it. Each time he could have used it as a message that his life and direction were wrong and he needed to return to God. If he did, God would have received him. The Bible says in Psalm 51:17, "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." But in his stubborn pride, Ahaz refused to feel broken or to repent. "Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord" (1 Chronicles 28:22). Because of his sinful persistence, his life came to a sad end and he is only remembered for his evil ways.
- When you suffer, how do you respond? We can complain and even become bitter towards God, turning away from Him OR we can view it as a sign that perhaps something is wrong in our lives and we need to draw closer to God. C.S. Lewis wrote, "Pain insists up being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." When you suffer, take your broken heart to God, repent of any sin you're aware of, and known that God will not reject you.
- Where in your life are you feeling some pain? How have you been handling it? Complaining? Bitterness? Consider the possibility that God is trying to get your attention. Examine your life and see if there is sin you have not confessed to God and repented of. Let your pain change your direction.