Ahaz has turned to idols. Even after the correction of God he doesn’t repent or turn away. Instead he dives deeper to his and the nation’s ruination.
Ahaz’s behavior brings to mind people who are angry with God for Him not answering their prayers as they wanted. Many times it’s for the healing of a loved one who is desperately ill. The person was a “good person” and didn’t deserve what happened to them. Sometimes the anger stems from an accident that “God should never have let happen.” Whatever the reason, bitterness takes root and the one who is angry moves further and further away from God.
Sometimes God can still reach such an angry person. Because in order to be angry at God you have to at least believe He exists and that He has power. It takes something special to melt a hardened heart. And God never stops looking for that “something special.”
Ahaz is bitter! The God of Israel has abandoned him on the battlefield in a BIG way. Every enemy available has come at him and they have all prevailed. “What happened to Him fighting for His people? Are we not Hebrews?”
If Ahaz had bothered to listen to God’s Laws he would have been perfectly clear that God will NOT stand by and watch His children wallow in sin. He will do whatever it takes to correct them, INCLUDING allow all the curses He clearly spelled out come to pass. Ahaz is living in that “cure” clause. And he has no one but himself to blame!
Ahaz is so bitter that he runs even further away. He turns to the gods of the nations who defeated him. “If their gods helped them maybe they will help me.” NOT. And God wouldn’t allow it even if the other gods had the power to act. God will NOT let go of His people. His love is that deep. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline” (Revelation 3:19).
Ahaz did everything he could to remove God from Judah. He cut up the vessels of God, he stopped all the sacrifices, and he nailed the doors shut. But even this would not stop God’s love and the people still had an undercurrent of unity with God flowing through them.
What!? Why would I say that with the way they have been behaving? Because they refused to bury Ahaz with the kings who followed the Lord. They KNEW the truth, even if they weren’t living it. And this was the sliver of faith that God and the next king would build upon.
Father God, THANK YOU that You NEVER give up on Your children! You have brought me back from the precipice so many times that I can’t even count them. I have never been the kind of bitter that Ahaz was but I have felt lost and far away from You. You reached out during those times and used whatever You could to draw me back. I know that some of those ‘drawing back’ experiences were easier for You to work than others but You NEVER gave up, no matter how difficult it was to get through to me.
When did You know that Ahaz was beyond reaching? Or was he? Was it only at the moment of his death that You surrendered to his eternal choice? Did You ever stop reaching out to him in one way or another?
Do any of us ever reach that point with You? Where You stop trying to reach us? I pray I never find out, for my life or for the life of someone I love. Help me to never give up either. Show me how to sow Your love into the hearts of my children who have turned away. Let that seed take root and bear good fruit. I know they are resistant to the straight forward approach but You know all the ‘back channels’ and can help me sow through them. I KNOW You haven’t given up on them and neither have I (or their grandmother).