by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: 2 Kings 15:1-16:20; Psalm 4:1-8
READ (Verses chosen for meditation)
2 Kings 16:7 “So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”
When the kings of Syria and Israel waged war against Ahaz, the king of Judah, the latter went to seek refuge in the arms of Tiglath-pileser, who was the king of Assyria. Such a move was frequently warned against by the prophets like Isaiah, Hosea and Micah. God’s people should not ally themselves with the foreigners who worshipped other gods. We should not go to the “other side”. We should not seek answers from things or persons who just seem to be more convenient or quick with “answers”.
Furthermore, the words used by Ahaz were similar to pleas for help (from Yahweh) from the more righteous kings like David. It was as if Ahaz was trying to get help from another god which was the human king of Assyria. One thing leads to another. After Tiglath-pileser won the battle for Ahaz, Ahaz was so pleased with the Assyrian king, that he decided to adopt his pagan altar and even desecrated the altar of the Lord. Among the kings of Judah, Ahaz (and later on Manasseh) played an important role in provoking God’s final judgement of destruction against His people.
When Ahaz ran into trouble, the person he sought help from wasn’t God, but a mere human king. Although the prophets especially Isaiah warned Ahaz of the danger of seeking help from Assyria, such advice fell on deaf ears. I am ministered by this passage to reflect on my own heart; of how I can be very deaf or blind to God’s ways. There are times when I know that I should seek the Lord for an extended period of time. Yet, I went seeking for quick answers from my own experience, people and even articles on the internet. It all has to do with my impatient and selfish heart. May the Lord help me to change for the better so that I can make better decisions. Who do we seek? Help me to seek You O God.
Lord my God, help me to be more patient and secure in You. Help me to rely on You more. This is so that I can hear You more and make decisions that are pleasing to You. Amen.