I originally wrote this as an assignment for a Reformer’s Unanimous challenge. It is quite short, but I thought y’all might like something more quick and to the point for a change. 🙂
2 Chronicles 28:1-15
1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:
2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.
8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.
10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?
11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.
12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,
13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, andthere is fierce wrath against Israel.
14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
15 And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
The reign of Ahaz in Judah was marked by great sins and rebellions against God. And as with the other kings, and as with every other nation that has ever existed before God’s just throne, he was duly punished – and also in typical fashion, by another unrighteous kingdom: Israel.
Israel did not ever have a single king that walked wholly before God, and yet time and again God used them to deal justice upon Judah. How powerful of an illustration this is for us! We, who are rebellious and despicable in nature, are still used of God to bring others to the right. Not just in our example, showing them what to avoid, but also in teaching, God still uses us.
But in this particular instance, Israel went far beyond God’s intended judgment: they extended themselves beyond His justice and worked for their own pride and well-being. They took Judah captive. This was not in God’s will, and He told them so.
He told them that they did not themselves hold the law in their hands: they were merely executing it. He did this by pointing out their own failures to keep the law. They were unworthy to take justice into their own hands, although their hands could still be used to execute God’s justice.
In like manner, we are often put into positions in which it is our God-given duty to train, rebuke, challenge, and punish others. Whether in the family, in the church, or in the government, we must bear in mind that we do not master the law: the law is our master. And we must show compassion to those under our jurisdiction by following God’s justice rather than our own.
Filed under: Heavenly | Tagged: Ahaz, Baalim, Bible study, Books of Chronicles, Compassion, God, Israel, Israelites, Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Reformers Unanimous, Righteousness, Walking with God | 2 Comments »