After a trek through the book of Micah, we move back to 2 Chronicles and pick up where we left off.
“Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” – 2 Chronicles 28:1
Ahaz is in trouble, but let’s be honest, even those kings who did do right in the eyes of the Lord often suffered greatly at the hands of God.
“He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his children in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.” – 2 Chronicles 28:3
Sacrificing your children is pretty horrible, but let us not forget that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. It doesn’t matter that God stopped the sacrifice. Ordered someone to sacrifice your own child is pure evil.
“Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hands of the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and took many of his people as prisoners and brought them to Damascus.” – 2 Chronicles 28:5
I understand the consequence Ahaz faces, but the people too? Do we know they also built idols? Or maybe they were forced to make the idols against their wishes. Once again God punishes many people who were likely innocent.
“In one day Pekah son of Remaliah killed a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah—because Judah had forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors.” – 2 Chronicles 28:6
Sorry, but one person did not kill 120,000 soldiers in one day given the technology of the time.
“But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. He said to them, ‘Because the Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven. And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God? Now listen to me! Send back your fellow Israelites you have taken as prisoners, for the Lord’s fierce anger rests on you.’” – 2 Chronicles 28:9-11
Much evil is done here, but it’s hypocritical of God to get upset about slaves when he is the one who has commanded the taking of slaves. Not to mention God’s cowardice at speaking to the people personally.
“Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel.” – 2 Chronicles 28:27
Ahaz is punished by not being buried in the tombs of the kings of Israel. No comfort to the innocents who were harmed by God during Ahaz’s reign.
All throughout 2 Chronicles we see good and bad kings. This book would have much greater moral authority if bad kings were truly punished without punishing the innocent at the same time. The book would also have greater authority if God didn’t condemn the very things he supports, such as slavery, killing, etc. Those are bad things. Being a god doesn’t justify God doing them.
Coming Soon: 2 Kings 16: Ahaz King of Judah