In the last few chapters in Second Chronicles we followed the accounts of three kings who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,” but who had significant issues of evil and neglect that were recorded by the Chronicler. The remaining kings in the line of David prior to the exile of Judah and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem were Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and at the very end, the sons and grandson of Josiah. These men were among the worst and the best in the line of David.
Ahaz was definitely one of the worst. He led Judah in idolatry, making images of false gods and sacrificing his own sons as offerings to the demonic deities of other nations. His leadership in false worship was so pervasive that the Chronicler recorded that he “sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.”
Ahaz’s faithlessness and disobedience brought great disaster on the people of Judah. During his days some of the leading men even from the more wicked land of Israel to the north proved to be more righteous than the king of Judah. These men of Ephraim responded to the prophetic Word of God. But Ahaz did not learn from his failures or from the Lord’s discipline.
The king of Judah looked to the Assyrian Empire and to the gods of other nations for help. He also dismantled some of the holy objects of the Lord’s appointed worship in Jerusalem and “shut up the doors of the house of the Lord.” These acts of brazen rebellion brought nothing but more trouble upon the nation.
Ahaz was the son of a good king, Jotham, and Ahaz’s own son, Hezekiah, was a great king. But Ahaz himself did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. During these final centuries prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians we are made keenly aware of the limitations of a system of passing on royal duties from father to son upon the death of the king.
An obedient Old Testament king might do much good, but who would take his place when he was gone? Today the people of God have an eternal King in the line of David. Not only is Jesus perfect in all that He does, He will be our King forever and ever. His death on the cross was not the end of His reign, but the beginning of it. We who were once far from God have been drawn near to the Lord through the blood of Jesus. We have been gathered into the family of God, and our destiny is to do what is right in eyes of the Lord.