Stories from the Old Testament for coping with 2023 

Part 6, King Ahaz (Part 5, Feb 3)

God sent three boys to king Ahaz, whose names were meant to aid the young king’s faith and trust in God’s power and care – with a warning attached too, though, that “If you do not stand in your faith, Ahaz, you will not stand at all,” Isaiah 7:9

But there’s no indication in the story that Ahaz saw any significance in the names of these three boys. Instead, 2 Chronicles 28:22, “In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord.” And rather than put his trust in God, Ahaz “sent messengers to the king of Assyria” in 2 Kings 16:7, asking him to “Come up and save me” from those “who are attacking me.” 

And to win the king’s favour Ahaz stripped the temple and the royal palace of all their silver and gold and sent the whole lot to the king as a gift (verse 8). Sounds like the major drug companies today, lobbying those in power and influence for favourable treatment and open support for their products by massive bribes of money. It worked a treat during the pandemic. It did for Ahaz too, because “The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus (the capital of one of Ahaz’s attackers) and capturing it” (verse 9). 

Ahaz then visited Damascus himself and while there he was deeply impressed by the design of an altar (to a god), and so much so he “sent a sketch of it to Uriah the priest (back home) with detailed plans for its construction” (verse 10). And when it was finished, Ahaz not only offered all the usual burnt, grain and drink offerings on it, he also pushed the bronze altar at the temple out of the way and placed his altar in the prominent position instead (verse 12-14). 

And in 2 Chronicles 28:24 -25, he “shut the doors of the Lord’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the Lord to anger,” believing these fake gods would help them instead (verse 23). 

During the rest of his miserable 16 year reign in Jerusalem, he not only “sacrificed his son in the fire” (2 Kings 16:3), he “offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on hilltops and under every spreading tree” (verse 4) – all of which were pagan practices. 

So why would God go to all that trouble of sending three children as signs to boost Ahaz’s trust in him, if none of them meant anything to him, and Ahaz trusted in fake gods instead?…(part 7, Feb 17)  

One thought on “Stories from the Old Testament for coping with 2023 

  1. Wow! What a punch in the face that was to God. It’s no wonder He was angry. Trusting in what’s fake over what’s real is such a bad idea.

    Isn’t that how things are today, though? People trusting in fake religion, fake government, fake education, fake science, fake values, fake this…, fake that…..everything that’s fake, phony and counterfeit. It’s “mystery Babylon” and all the “abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). It’s people trusting in the “kings of the earth” for “fame and fortune” or “safety and security” depending on which rung of the ladder they’re standing on.

    People need to wake up out of their slumber and sober up. They need to throw off their “security blankets,” remove their “sleep masks,” “clear the cobwebs,” and “get real”…..

    “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11-14)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s