The next person we meet in this series is Ahaz. Ahaz is one of the lesser-known people we’ll meet but he is still very important. As the young king of the people of Judah, his leadership and, more importantly, his worship focus would be either very helpful or detrimental to his people. Sadly, his worship focus and his actions ended up being very unfaithful to the Lord. So, what can we learn about worship from this ancient king?
In 2 Kings 16 Ahaz makes four tragic sacrifices which we should avoid at all cost. First, he sacrificed the truth. By worshipping other gods, he denied the truth that there is only one true God and set himself up for further tragic sacrifices. The second sacrifice he made was of his identity. As the king of Judah, a God-ordained position and identity, he willingly made himself the servant of another king whom he thought was more powerful and could protect him; God never intended the king of Judah to assume any identity other than servant of the Lord. The third sacrifice Ahaz made was to sacrifice his responsibility. Instead of being the steward of the things God provided the nation that God intended him to be, he took those resources and used them to bribe the king of Assyria into protecting Judah. Finally, Ahaz sacrificed his freedom. He may have gotten some security but in the process he ceased to be a king in his own right and became a prisoner to the whims and wishes of a foreign king.
We may not be the king of a nation but we are people called to live God-centered lives. In light of Ahaz’s story we should ask ourselves important questions: Are my loyalties divided between the true God and idols? What identities does the world want us to adopt instead of our central identity as God’s children/people? Are we responsibly stewarding the resources, time, gifts, and spheres of responsibility the Lord has given to us?