Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


February 18, 2010

When God Bows to Kings

I confess, it's sometimes a bit of a challenge to find words of exhortation, and encouragement plodding through 2 Kings: endless tales of corrupt and disgusting kings. But now and then gems are found, especially in the Hezekiah vs. Assyria stories. And they start with a tyrant named, Tiglath-Pileser.

He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the Lord, in deference to the king of Assyria.
- 2 Kings 16:18 TNIV 

King Ahaz of Judah is scared. He has good reason. The Assyrian Empire wants everything, and its king, Tiglath-Pileser, usually gets what he wants. So Ahaz tries to cut a deal with T-P: Money & Kow-Towing. Ahaz even remodels the temple of God in favor of the Assyrian gods and Tiglath-Pileser. In other words, Ahaz bowed down to the obvious threat, an Assyrian king, and overlooked devotion to his God. Bad bargain, poor compromise.

Pragmatism, what seemingly works in the short term, is no way to practice devotion to one's God. Ahaz would soon learn. Have we? Friend, be careful of the kings we bow down to, while ignoring our commitment to the Lord.

Dale Patterson