Wednesday, May 28, 2014

King Ahaz Chooses Not to Listen to Isaiah's Warnings

By Mary Vee
II Kings 16, II Chronicles 28, Isaiah 7

From the Journals of the prophet Isaiah


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King Jotham was buried with honors and his son Ahaz crowned king.

Jothan had worked hard to bring Judah back to worshipping God, the people just wouldn't listen. His son, Ahaz, unfortunately loved to please the people. He did not do what was right in God's eyes.

Ahaz followed the ways of the Israelites by making cast idols for worshiping the Baals. He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom which should only be done at the temple by the priests. And he offered his sons following the ways of the nations the Lord had driven out of Israel. Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places on the hilltops and under every spreading tree. None of these things were allowed by God.

While Ahaz was king of Judah, the king of Israel joined the king of Aram to fight against Jerusalem but they could not overpower the city. All the people of Judah were shaken by this attack.

The Lord sent me to meet with Ahaz out at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool. "Ahaz, the Lord has sent me to you with a message."

"I'm listening. What is it?"

"The Lord says, 'Be careful, keep calm, and don't be afraid. Don't give up because of these two armies who attacked Jerusalem.'

"The Lord says, 'It will not take place, it will not happen. If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all."

"What does the Lord want me to do?" Ahaz asked.

"Ask the the Lord your God to give you a sign whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights." I waited for Ahaz to think of something to ask.

Instead he said, "I will not ask. I will not put the Lord to the test."

This had to be one of the most annoying king's I've had to deal with. "Listen, you from the house of David. Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God?" I sighed in anger. "The Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel. Before the boy knows enough to do what is only right, the land of the two kings you fight will be destroyed because the king of Assyria will come and attack.

Ahaz raised his head and said, "I will not listen to you, Isaiah. I will battle against the king of Israel and the king of Aram and I will show you who is in charge."

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1. Who is the new king of Judah?
2. Did he do what was right in God's eyes?
3. Who came to attack Judah (Jerusalem is in Judah)?
4. What message did Isaiah give to Ahaz?
5. Isaiah told Ahaz to ask for a sign from the Lord. What did Ahaz ask for?
6. What did Ahaz decide to do?

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