Ep. 148: Ahaz
Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king of Judah. Unlike his father and grandfather, he didn’t follow the Lord. He started the worship of Baal in Jerusalem, and even began to practice the ritual of child sacrifice. Syria marched on Jerusalem and took people away as captives. Ahaz sent gold and silver to the king of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. He said, “I’ll be your loyal servant if you rescue us from Syria.”
So Assyria attacked Syria and totally destroyed their nation and sent most of their people into exile.
Ahaz went to Syria to meet with the king of Nineveh. While he was there, he saw a special altar he liked, and sent plans back to Jerusalem so his craftsmen could build one like it.
It was done by the time the king got back to Jerusalem. So he took many of the things from inside the Temple and started to use them with his new altar. He then closed the doors of the Temple so no one could go inside to worship.
The Lord became angry and allowed the king of Israel to defeat Judah. Their army marched on Jerusalem and killed 120,000 men, including some of Ahaz’s sons. The army took a massive amount of Judah’s wealth back to Israel. They also took 200,000 women and children, to be used as slaves.
A prophet of the Lord met the army as they came into Samaria. He said, “The Lord gave Israel victory over Judah because he was angry with them. But God is not pleased with you because you went too far. You slaughtered their people and took their women and children as slaves.
“Take them back to Judah now! If you don’t, the Lord will strike you in anger, just as he did Judah.”
This made the people of Israel afraid. Their leaders said to the army, “Don’t bring those people here! We don’t want to make God more angry with us than he already is.”
So the people of Israel used the spoils of Judah to provide for their captives. They gave them clothes and attended to their medical needs. They gave everyone food and drink.
Once the captives were cared for, they took them to Jericho, and even provided donkeys for those who were weak. Once the captives were safely in the care of their own people, the Israelites went back to Samaria.
Ahaz’s troubles continued on. All the nations around him attacked Jerusalem and took whatever they wanted. He once again asked Assyria for help, but they refused.
Ahaz still didn’t turn to the Lord. Instead, he kept trying to find another god who would help him. Finally he died and his son Hezekiah became king. He would become one of the greatest kings of Judah.