Ahaz, king of Judah, was one of the most wicked kings of the twenty who reigned in the southern kingdom. Here is a man who lived a life for himself, not concerned about the true and living God. In second Chronicles chapter twenty-eight verse one the Bible says he, “Did not that which was right.” That is dangerous ground for any believer to be on, and verses five and six show us how it worked out for him by telling us he suffered a tremendous loss to the Syrians.
After losing out militarily and spiritually, what would you do in Ahaz’s situation? Go deeper into sin and rebellion, or humbly repent and return to God? As a leader, he kept sinking; and the whole nation, unfortunately, suffered with him. None of us are islands unto ourselves. If we go down, more than likely we will take others with us.
But here is where Ahaz really gets into trouble. Notice his thinking process in verses twenty-two and twenty-three, “In the time of his distress,” he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me.” In other words he is saying, “If it works for those in the world, it will work for me!”
Often Christians who try to copy the world end up crafting their own destruction. Churches want to look and act like the world. Families want to act and live like some of the Hollywood actors and live selfish lives, without consideration for their spouses or children.
Notice the result of being and acting like others in the world (calling on and sacrificing to the gods of Syria). The Bible says, “They were the ruin of him, and of all Israel” (2 Chronicles 28:23b). Ahaz’s life was wrecked, ruined, and rendered ineffective. Why? Because he chose the way of the world. Instead of looking upward for answers to life’s difficulties and stresses, he looked outward and fell.
What is the devil doing to get your eyes off of the Lord and His Word, in order to ruin your life? May I suggest the following things we all need to be careful of:
1. People today are being ruined right and left by following the god of self. I promise you, anyone pursuing self will ultimately end up being nominated for the most miserable person in town.
2. Not only will following self bring destruction, but silver will be the ruin of some. Just as it ruined Judas, it can ruin any of us. We must be careful to not always want more. Worshiping the god of materialism has distracted many good Christians from following Christ. Let us be careful that we are not becoming more obedient to our employer than we are to God. Work and money are not everything.
3. The opposite sex will be the ruin of many as well. Actually, one’s ruin is really with their character, or lack of it. Character is the issue: purity, honesty, integrity, and faithfulness to vows. Married couples must work at keeping their love-levels high for each other. Deal with problems as they arise and let nothing go unresolved.
Could what was said of Ahaz be said of you? We could add to this list ambition, drugs, mouth, pride, idleness, pleasure, and a myriad of other things that could be the ruin of any of us. Next question, have any of these things started an in-road into your life?
My suggestion for all of us is to follow the leadership of Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, one of the finest kings in Israel’s history, he did not let anything be his ruin.
1. Resolve to do right (2 Chronicles 29:2).
2. Fear God (2 Chronicles 29:30).
3. Yield your all to God (2 Chronicles 30:8a).
4. Serve God (2 Chronicles 30:8b).
Please, one bad Ahaz is enough. Let us learn from his failures and not repeat them for ourselves!