In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord . – 2Chr. 28:22 NIV
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Today’s Devotional is the second part of the Devotional with the same title, where the unfaithfulness of King Ahaz of Judah and its effect on the people of Judah was discussed. It was King Ahaz that chose to;
- Follow the ways of the kings of Israel – 2Chr. 28:2a.
- He, it was that made idols for worshiping the Baals – 2Chr. 28:2b.
- He, it was that burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom – 2Chr. 28:3a.
- He, it was that sacrificed his children in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations that the Lord had driven out before the Israelites – 2Chr. 28:3b.
- He it was that offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree – 2Chr. 28:4.
Yet it was among the people that many lives were lost in battle, that many were taken away in captivity by all those invading enemies and it was among the people that several possessions were lost. It must be stated clearly though, that the king did not do all he did because he disliked his people but it was mainly because that to him was probably his understanding and best approach to steer his people away from the impending disaster. He probably would have done better if he had done a honest assessment of his activities before Jehovah or better still, if the followers had been more involved in leadership affairs by constantly praying for him and providing true advise to help him in his leadership role.
It would have been a different argument if he was advised and he refused such advise, but the scripture did not reveal any act of such from the followers, and according to the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, rather than retrace his steps when the problems were becoming over-whelming, back to the Lord who was penalizing him for his act of unfaithfulness, he chose to be involved in acts that made him become more unfaithful. The consequence of such reaction can only be greater losses and pain and this instance was no different.
Probably in his attempt to seek solution to his growing dilemma, he tried to seek solution from the experience of the people around him who were succeeding and chose to work with their template, obviously with the expectation that he too will record similar success, but unfortunately it led him to greater failure. The king of Damascus had earlier defeated him in battle and that must have made him conclude that the gods they served were more powerful than the one that he and his people were serving in Judah and so he chose to swap gods, but just as the scriptures put it, the move further led to the downfall of him and his people – 2Chr. 28:22-23. He simply could not act beyond his knowledge and he seemed to have no wise people around him, after all a king will be expected to benefit from the wise counsel of his cabinet at such critical times.
Still in search of a solution to the situation he and his people have put themselves into, he shut down the temples and disposed of all the furnishings dedicated to the worship of Jehovah – 2Chr. 28:24a. Probably in a move to get his people to be more dedicated to the worship of this new god that saved the people of Damascus, he
set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem and built high places in every corner of Judah, where sacrifices could be burnt to these gods, acts which further aroused the anger of the Lord , the God of his ancestors – 2Chr. 28:25. He simply could not act beyond the wisdom, knowledge and experience that was available to him, despite the possibility of having good intentions for his people.
Most people today react in similar manner to the rebuke of Jehovah, not only in leading people, but even in leading their own lives. Ignorant of what the source of the challenge in their lives could be, even after investing substantial resources into their worship of Jehovah in a manner they know best, but not seeking to find out with the help of the Holy Spirit, what the root cause of their life challenges may be, they not only conclude, most times wrongly too, about the source of those challenges, but also proffer solutions that are outside the plan of God.
Jehovah is the El-Roi and is able to see all things. Attempting to seek solution outside Him will only lead to disaster. Yes some other people may be recording success in areas that look similar to yours and for which you have similar desires, but you cannot be another person. Their situation may look similar, but in truth, they are not the same. Nobody can be you, just as you can be no body. You will always need the guidance of Jehovah through the Holy Spirit, to successfully navigate that challenge that is peculiar to you. That remains the only wisdom, knowledge and experience that you require to be an overcomer.
It is in that wisdom that He will provide knowledge of what the root cause of the challenge is and why He has allowed it. It is also in that situation that he will use his counsel to proffer solution, after all He is the ancient of days and the omniscient God.
This is not an advise to be considered by the leader only, but one that every good follower who desires to avoid the anger of God must also possess and use in supporting the leader. All cannot lead but all must be involved in leadership as it is a common destiny for all who are in the ship.
For the one who is leading, it must be made clear that it is not about passion and good intention only but about wisdom, knowledge and experience, all of which is made available by the Father. That is the only way that the leadership tenure of such will not be regarded as a waste like the case of King Ahaz who died as a king but was not given the honour befitting of kings – 2Chr. 28:27. Truly, he died without recognition, but that will not compensate for all the losses that the people incurred for not effectively supporting their leader. May God grant us leaders with divine wisdom, knowledge and experience to lead us right in Jesus name. Amen.