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Tuesday, August 26 2014
2 Chronicles 28: The Idols Of Ahaz
"He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim ... he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen"
Ahaz was the son and royal successor of King Jotham of Judah (see Jotham's Mountain Cities). King Ahaz became a crass idol-worshiper who followed the "gods" of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel (e.g. Ahab and his wife Jezebel; see The End Of The Line For Ahab And Jezebel; see also No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?).
"28:1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: 28:2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 28:4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree." (2 Chronicles 28:1-4 KJV)
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) delivered Ahaz and the Kingdom of Judah into the hands of hostile people - including the Kingdom of Israel "who smote him with a great slaughter."
"28:5 Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus.
The prophets of the LORD were very active in the time of Israel and Judah - primarily to warn them to turn from their unfaithful ways (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets).
"28:9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. 28:10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God? 28:11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.
Ahaz refused to heed the warning from the LORD. He instead sought allies with nations that were far more dangerous to him than the enemies that he already had made for himself. Among them was Assyria - the nation that the LORD appointed to destroy the northern kingdom (see The Galilee Captivity).
"28:16 At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him. 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives. 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there. 28:19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD. 28:20 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not. 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not." (2 Chronicles 28:16-21 KJV)
Ahaz then sought help from Syria (not to be confused with Assyria; see Damascus In History And Prophecy). It caused Ahaz to do something that was a foreshadow of the "abomination of desolation" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"28:22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. 28:23 For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
Fact Finder: The Books of Kings and Chronicles both provide historical and prophetic information about individual kings - sometimes one providing more detail for a particular king than the other. What does the Book of Kings moreover tell us about "the gods of the kings of Syria" that Ahaz brought to Jerusalem?
This Day In History, August 26
55 BC: Roman forces under Julius Caesar (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) invaded Britain ("Britain" originated from the Latin/Roman word Britannia, as did London, from the Latin/Roman word Londinium). The Roman Empire occupied Britain at the same time that it occupied Judea (from about 40 BC to 400 AD; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba), including when the Messiah was crucified (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate? and Israel In History and Prophecy: Roman Judea; see also Legions Of Men And Angels).
1071: Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert.
1278: Rudolf I (a Hapsburg) defeated Ottocar II, king of Bohemia, at the Battle of Marchfeld Plain, north of Vienna. The victory was a turning point in the history of Central Europe in that it established the Hapsburgs as rulers in the region, from 1278 to 1918, 640 years.
1346: An outnumbered English army of 10,000 under Edward III defeated Philip VI's French forces in the Battle of Crecy. It was one of the first major "missile" battles - English longbows verses French crossbows, with the English having the advantage of greater range.
1498: Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pieta for the Church of Rome.
1541: Suleiman I of Turkey captured Buda and annexed Hungary after his dispute with Archduke Ferdinand over claims to the kingdom.
1768: English explorer James Cook set sail from England on the HMS Endeavour.
1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was approved by the National Constituent Assembly of France.
1824: Karl Marx, at age 6, was baptized to "Christianity" in Trier, Prussia (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany). He came from long line of rabbis and Jewish scholars, but without his "conversion" he would not have had the political freedom to publish his communist manifesto.
1883: An extremely powerful eruption of a volcano on the island of Krakatoa in the Sundra Strait between Java and Sumatra began. The two-day eruption and associated tidal waves killed some 36,000 people and destroyed two-thirds of the island.
1901: The New Testament of the ASV (American Standard Version) Bible was first published. That U.S. edition of the 1881 English Revised Version (ERV) comprised the first major U.S. Bible translation. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1952 is an update of the American Standard Version of 1901.
1920: The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution permitted U.S. women to vote.
1936: The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty established Egypt as a sovereign state after 50 years of British administration (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).
1978: Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected as Pope John Paul I. He served only 33 days before dying of an apparent heart attack on September 28.
2008: Russia recognized the independence of the former U.S.S.R. republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.