A Corrupt Leader

Read: 2 Chronicles 28:1-27

For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel . . . (v. 19)

Immediately north of Judah was the Jewish nation of Israel which had separated from Judah after the reign of Solomon. Its capital was Samaria. North of Israel was Aram (Syria); its capital was Damascus. North of Aram was Assyria, which became very powerful and aggressive during Isaiah’s lifetime. The continuing temptation for the kings of Judah was to seek security in compromise and political alliances rather than in God.

The 16-year reign of Ahaz was a low point in Judah’s history. His father Jotham remained a godly man throughout his life even though corrupt practices prevailed among the people. But now the king himself became an active participant in making and worshiping idols. He sacrificed his sons to idols.

The debilitating impact of such practices soon became evident. Judah was soundly defeated by Aram and Israel. Life became miserable for the people of Judah. Failing to perceive God’s judgment in all of this, Ahaz turned to the idols of Aram, took away the furnishings of the temple, closed its doors, and finally was denied the proper burial for kings. In this desperate situation Isaiah was called to speak God’s message.

In challenging times, we can be tempted to follow Ahaz’s example, looking out for our own protection instead of trusting God. Ahaz reminds us that this kind of compromise never works out in the long term. —Gordon Van Wylen

As you pray, ask God to show you the places where you need to trust him, and recommit yourself to his guidance and provision.

About the Author

Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.