Daily Thought for: 26th June
2 Chronicles 28. 19-27
He made Judah naked. Such is the inspired comment on the apostasy of
king Ahaz, 2 Chr. 28. 19. His mismanagement robbed the nation of its dignity,
wealth and influence. Never before were things so far down and the situation
so bad, but there was worse to come.
In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz, 2 Chr. 28. 22. Earlier he appealed to the king of Assyria; now he goes farther and, hoping for help, sacrifices to the gods of Damascus.
2 Kings chapter 16 tells us that, as part of his worship of these gods, he brought to the temple at Jerusalem the copy of an altar which he had seen on a visit to Damascus. When he introduced this new altar, he did not completely dispense with the brazen altar but had it removed to a less prominent position and used it on special occasions. It seems he was not altogether comfortable with his innovation, otherwise it would have stood.
At the same time he reduced the laver from its elevated position in the temple. Vessels which had been standing since the days of Solomon, 250 years earlier, were now reduced, replaced or removed. Here was a man ready to change anything to accommodate his own liberal ideas. However, instead of these things bringing the expected relief, they were the ruin of him and all Israel.
Does not this record speak across the centuries to our very own day? How many are now resorting to worldly and popular innovations in order to solve the spiritual problems which surround us. These, rather than reducing the difficulties, only increase them and will have the effect of taking us to the point that Ahaz reached.
Sadly for the kingdom, he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord. However, we do well to remember that the man who closed these very doors had earlier flung open the doors of the kingdom to the ways of the surrounding nations. May we learn that compromise of Gods truth will impair the effectiveness of Gods testimony. To be too liberal with what is entrusted to our keeping is a breach of trust; it must end in disaster!