Read: 2 Chronicles 28-29 and Psalm 83
The only good thing I can say about Ahaz is that somehow he had a son, Hezekiah. Ahaz followed the ways of the northern kingdom, detestable practices, even burned his children in the fire as a sacrifice to some god.
In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord. 2 Chronicles 28:22
While most of us will cry out to the Lord in bad times, Ahaz somehow got worse! He reigned 16 years as king of Judah, long years for the few who remained faithful–surely there were some who made up the remnant. Ahaz was the king of the southern kingdom when the northern kingdom was carried away into Assyrian captivity and eventually completely destroyed. This provides the backstory for Hezekiah.
Chapter 29 provides a brief introduction for Hezekiah’s reforms and good deeds:
So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished. Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly. 2 Chronicles 29:35-36
From the ashes of the northern kingdom and corruption of Ahaz, we are treated with an extensive narrative about a king who did well. Turning around the kingdom at this point must have been quite a difficult task. It’s one thing to relaunch a church, this is restarting and entire kingdom as they watch their brothers and sisters (i.e., Israel) get carted off to oblivion.
It is encouraging to think that one man can provide a pivot point for a nation. The featured image on this post represents one man, one starfish, in an ocean that is otherwise empty. I’m sure he was supported by a large group of those unnamed, but he stood as the leader that changed the course of history and extended the kingdom of God’s chosen for another 100+ years. That is significant!
It’s intimidating to think about changing an entire country, even to the point of paralysis. Lord, help us to see this good example and not try to solve the entire problem; rather, show us how to have an impact on the few around us. One at a time, we can change history, though we might not see it in our lifetime. Help us to do this with humble hearts, showing the love of Christ to those we meet. Help us to be content to be one of the many whose names are not listed, yet are in fact the ones that did the work.