Dumb… and Dumber!!
Just finished reading the story of a King in Judah, who really fits the bill!! King Ahaz (the story is found in 2 Kings 16)
The Bible says he was twenty years old when he became king (young enough that it might have been a good idea if he would have sought and accepted some godly counsel).
But instead, this is what we read… “Unlike David his forefather, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire (an extremely gruesome, heathen practice), engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.” (vss. 2-3)
Oh, it gets worse… Two kings march out and lay siege to Jerusalem. Where does Ahaz go for support and help? Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria!! An evil, conniving, power-hungry king, infamous for his cruelty and violence. And what does Ahaz do? He takes “the silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it to the king of Assyria,” bribing him to help him.
After the immediate crisis is over, Ahaz goes to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser. He sees an altar there he likes, he draws a sketch of it (we’d take a picture with our cell phones) and sends the picture and plan for it home to Uriah, the priest. He had the competing altar (to God’s altar in the temple) built, then moves God’s altar out of the way to be used only occasionally.
That’s not all… “In deference to the king of Assyria” the temple furnishings were dismantled, refurbished to “Assyrian standards” and rearranged! (I guess Tiglath-Pileser, the pagan king, commented that he really didn’t like the temple arrangement and how it was furnished so Ahaz sought to please him!)
How dumb can you be! How foolish leaders become that reject God and go their own way!!
Praise the Lord that “Hezekiah, his son, succeeded him as King!” (vs. 20 … read about this marvelous leader who reverenced and sought God in 2 Kings 18!!)