In II Chronicles 28 it summarizes what king Ahaz did to cause judgment to fall on him and the nation.
He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree. (28:2-4)
This abominable king is pulling the whole nation into grave sin. And Chronicles makes it very clear what happens because of the actions of King Ahaz. In verse 5 the first word is “therefore”. This is because what the author is about to write has been caused by what he has just written. In other words, here comes the consequences and judgment of God. Now there are several things that happen so I am going to list them out. All of this is found in II Chronicles 28.
1) The king of Syria defeats Judah and takes captive a great number of people.
2) The king of Israel also strikes Judah with great force.
3) One hundred and twenty thousand men of valor are killed in one day.
4) Three high ranking officials of the palace are killed, including the king’s son.
5) Israel takes 200,000 women, sons and daughters captive, plus they take spoils of war back to Samaria.
6) The Edomites defeated Judah and carried away captives.
7) The Philistines raided several cities.
8) King Ahaz asked for help from the king of Assyria, yet Assyria came against Judah and afflicted them.
In verse 19 it says, “For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully and had been very unfaithful to the Lord.” We see 8 different things that happened, many of which are very severe. God was judging Judah for its actions, specifically the faithless rebellion of the king.
And now after all this the story becomes even more interesting (a little crazy actually). With all that happened, the king should be running back to God, pleading for mercy, repenting for his great sins. Yet this is not at all what we find.
In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord—this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. II Chronicles 28:22-25
King Ahaz shut the door on God and his temple. He shut the door on worship to Jehovah. I cannot think of a more detestable thing. The irony being God was already judging the king’s disobedience and the nation was suffering. I think the question(s) for us are:
1) Are we experiencing God’s judgment, if so why?
2) Are the doors of God being shut?
I think the answer to the first question is quite clear. We are experiencing God’s judgment due to the rebellion of our leaders. Even in the midst of clear reasons to turn around, they continue to rebel to the point of closing the doors of God’s house. The very foundation of Christ is being torn down in our nation. While we know this is happening each and every day, what are we to do. Well, there is always hope in Christ, restoration is but a breathe away. If you keep reading in II Chronicles you will see that Ahaz is followed by one of the greatest kings in the history of Judah, King Hezekiah. And a magnificent restoration occurs during his reign. This tells me that we can restore and rebuild what has been lost. We need holy and righteous leaders who are passionate about Jesus. We need to pray for righteous leadership. We should ask God to tear down the filth, tear down the rebellious house, and rebuild and restore his temple. Lord Jesus, remove those who would close the doors on your house, and let righteousness rise.