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07 Tue
Ahaz and Assyria
[ 2 Kings 16:1 - 16:9 ]
1. In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God.
3. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
4. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.
5. Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem and besieged Ahaz, but they could not overpower him.
6. At that time, Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram by driving out the men of Judah. Edomites then moved into Elath and have lived there to this day.
7. Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, "I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me."
8. And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria.
9. The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.

Abominable Practices (16:1–4)
In the political systems of the ancient world, some of the kings who ascended to the throne were mere boys by our modern standards. Though we do see some formidable and godly young kings (e.g., Josiah), King Ahaz, who takes the throne at age twenty, is one of the most despicable kings in Judahs history. While we can understand the extreme pressure Ahaz would be under as a young man ruling an entire nation, this is no excuse for the sheer inhumanity of burning ones son as an offering. Young or old, king or commoner, when we have no principles of godliness in our lives, we will succumb to the pressures of this world. May our faith be built upon the firm foundation of the fear and knowledge of the living God.

Forsaking God (16:5–9)
In todays passage, Ahaz finds himself in a desperate situation. Rezin king of Aram and Pekah king of Israel have formed an alliance and besiege him. Ahaz decides to turn to Assyria, asking Tiglath-Pileser to rescue him from the king of Israel, instead of turning to the LORD or even trying to establish a truce with Israel so as to preserve his kinsmen. That is how far gone Ahaz is spiritually—he does not even consider God as an option and turns to Assyria, an immoral and inhumane nation, as an ally. When faced with a desperate situation, it is always better to trust Gods mercy and judgment rather than to align with evil men, no matter how powerful they may seem.

- The world will always try to pressure us into trying to please others and our own egos rather than God. Ask God for an undivided heart that seeks Him and Him alone.

- In your toughest times, turn to God. There is no other solution that promises salvation Do not trust this world. There is nothing and no one to trust in a world that denies His lordship.

A Letter to
Dear God, gird my spirit and fortify my soul. Let me never forsake You for anything in this world. Give me stronger faith and a courageous heart. I am Yours, and You are my great reward. Let me be strengthened to live and die for Your name. In Jesus name. Amen.
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