“Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
“Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to wage war on Jerusalem, and they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him... So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying,.. ‘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.’ Ahaz also took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king’s house and sent a present to the king of Assyria.
“When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. [He] sent Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. And Uriah the priest built the altar… before King Ahaz arrived. And when the king came from Damascus, [he] drew near to the altar and went up on it and burned his offering… on the altar. The bronze altar that was before the Lord he removed from the front of the house,.. and put it on the north side of his altar. And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, ‘On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering and the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people…’ King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands and removed the basin from them, and he took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pedestal.” 2 Kings 16:2-5,7-8,10-15,17
Ahaz did things his way, in his work and worship. When he met opposition, he implemented a better way, according to himself, and plowed on in direct opposition to the Lord’s commands and pattern for reverent worship. How like him we can be! (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)
Once a decision is made to do things my way, it is impossible to reverse course save for God’s merciful intervention. Heart bent leads to choice leads to action upon action, and before we know it, we sacrifice all that is meaningful and valuable to get our way. We charge ahead at the helm with no one to stop us, drunk on power and the pride of self-exaltation.
God, who knows our sinful proclivities, established the right way to approach Him, and worship, and live. His ways are good, sufficient, sure, and satisfying. Repeatedly we ascend the throne of self, grip the royal scepter, and waste the kingdom entrusted to us. But God offers Jesus, Himself the Way, to lead us aright to eternal life and unspeakable joy. (John 10:10; 14:6)
Whose way will I choose?
My Lord, have Your way with me. I yield my way to give way to Your glorious best.