2 Chronicles 28 – We All Have a Little Something in Us

Most of us have been taught that if we look hard enough, we will find some good in everyone.

But there’s a person in 2 Chronicles chapter 28 who challenges that. There, King Ahaz is portrayed as someone totally devoid of righteousness.

  • He followed after the false gods of his enemies and burned his own children as a sacrifice to these false gods. (2 Chron. 28:3)
  • He turned to his own resourcefulness and to pagan nations rather than to God.
  • He closed the temple of God and broke all its artifacts hoping to win the favor of pagan gods.
  • He wasn’t even deemed worthy to be buried with the other kings of Judah.
  • His enemies had more compassion and righteousness than Ahaz (2 Chron. 28:6-15)

No matter how hard you look, you cannot find anything good about king Ahaz.

He became this way through a series of refusals.

  • Refusals to hear God.
  • Refusals to humble himself before God.
  • Refusals to obey God.

God brought repeated defeat and hardship on Ahaz, hoping to get his attention and turn him around. But Ahaz became more deaf and disobedient to God. (2 Chron. 28:22)

Ahaz is so bad it’s hard to see what his story has to do with us. But think about it:

  • Have you ever responded to hardship by turning to your own resourcefulness, or looking to someone else for help, rather than God?
  • Though you’ve never sacrificed your children in fire, have you ever pursed your own desires to the point where you sacrificed your children?
  • Have you ever been tempted to turn away from God when it seemed that He was thwarting you more than helping you?

We might not be all bad, but we all have a little Ahaz in us. (Rom. 3:23) And every decision and attitude we entertain will either shape us more like Ahaz or more like God.

1 Kings 21-22 – You Can’t Get Away With It!

Some people just don’t get it. Do you know the type? These people don’t listen, even though the message is clear and strong. They keep walking down the wrong paths, even though the warning signs are loud and clear. It’s as if they think they’re exempt from the consequences, even though the consequences are nipping at their heels. They are what the Bible calls…fools.

This is the picture we get of King Ahab, in 1 Kings chapters 21-22. Ahab is self-focused. Despite the warnings and consequences, he wants what he wants. He only wants to hear what he wants to hear and tries to squelch the truth he doesn’t want to hear. (See 1 Kings chapter 22.)

But God’s truth and God’s consequences are sure, no matter what we do to ignore them or avoid them. We can’t escape God. That’s why an arrow, shot randomly into a crowd of soldiers, finds the disguised Ahab and strikes him in the very small space between the joints in his armor.

Lucky shot? I think not. Numbers 32:23 tells us that we can be sure that our sin will find us out. Ignoring our rebellion and denying our sin will not make it go away. And it will not make God go away!

Don’t be like king Ahab; doing what you want, when you want, and how you want. Listen to God, follow His instruction, count the cost of discipleship, and avoid the consequences of serving yourself.

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (Galatians 6:7 NLT)

1 Kings 12 – Are You A Repeat Offender?

Have you ever watched someone do something foolish and said to yourself, “I’m never going to do anything like that,” and then wound up doing something very similar later on? If so, you have a picture of what’s going on in 1 Kings chapter 12.

There, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, chooses to reject wise counsel and instead do what he wants to do. Because of this tragic and rebellious sin, Rehoboam loses over 90% of his kingdom to Jeroboam.

Now you would think that Jeroboam, having watched Rehoboam lose most of his kingdom through selfish rebellion, would have learned to do things differently. But after God gives most of the kingdom to him, and after God has told him that He will do for him what He did for David, Jeroboam turns away from the God who has given him the kingdom and sets up idols and false gods for worship. He’s a repeat offender.

It makes you want to say, “How can you be so foolish?”

But before we start pointing fingers, how many times have we watched someone suffer the consequences of willful disobedience only to turned around and ignored our own need to obey.

It’s part of our post-fall wiring (Romans 3:23) and none of us are exempt. This is why we need a Savior to pay for our sin and give us a new life that can combat the old life.

Rehoboam. Jeroboam. They all sound alike. They all act alike, and they are all prone to wander off the path of God…just as we are. The question is not, “Will you ever do something like that?” The question is, “When you do, will you turn back to the God of your blessings or continue toward your downfall.

Are you a repeat offender?

1 Samuel 8 – Teenage Rebellion

In 1 Samuel chapter 7, we compared the nation of Israel to little children who get distracted and wander away from their parents. But sometimes, God’s children are more like willful teenagers, opposing what God wants and willfully choosing a different direction.

This is what you see in 1 Samuel chapter 8. Israel decides that they want to be like everyone around them, rather than look like their parent (God.) They want God there when they need help, but they still want to do their own thing. And even after they are warned about the difficulties and dangers their choices will produce, they still want what they want. And they are willing to enter back into a slavery of sorts to get what they want.

The truth is, we are more like the Children of Israel than we want to admit. How often we disregard what God wants in favor of what we want. How often we turn our back on His provision and find ourselves in slavery to what we thought we wanted/needed.

And like a good parent, God will hang back and watch us make poor choices. He will allow us to willfully turn away from Him, while all, the time waiting for us to realize the slavery and mess we’ve chosen. Then, when we cry out to Him, He will step in to help us walk out of our mess.

God wants children who will stay close and dependent to Him, not teenagers who will willfully break away from Him. The question is…which are you?

Deuteronomy 1 – Go and Occupy

Some people make things harder than they have to be. These people complicate things by ignoring suggestions and instructions. They like doing things their own way. They open the box and begin putting pieces together, without reading the instructions.

In Deuteronomy chapter 1, Moses begins a speech to the Israelites who are preparing to cross over into the Promised Land. In the speech, Moses reminds them that the generations before them had made things harder than they needed to be. They had turned an eleven day trip into a forty year trip, because they chose to do things their own way, rather than follow God’s lead.

God had their blessing in hand and was holding it out to them. He promised to pave the way and handle the difficulties they would face. All they had to do was go and occupy.

But their fear and discouragement led them to doubt God. They refuse His direction…and thus His blessing. So the previous generation spent forty years wandering in the wilderness, never receiving what God longed to give them.

I have a feeling I would be shocked and dismayed at how much un-necessary wandering I’ve done, simply because I was afraid to go and occupy. How many times during a single day does God hold some blessing out before me and longs for me to make it my own, only to see me wander and stumble trying to do things my own way.

God, help us to hear the words “Go and occupy” at every turn, and to respond without hesitation.

What is it that God is calling you to do that you’re hesitating to do? Spend this week asking God to give you the courage to step out in faith.