By: Steve Negley

Posted: September 2, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

2 Kings 16:1-9

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, King Ahaz son of Jotham of Judah began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel came up to wage war on Jerusalem; they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time King Rezin of Aram recovered Elath for Edom[a] and drove the Judeans from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they live to this day. Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” Ahaz also took the silver and gold 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. The king of Assyria listened to him; the king of Assyria marched up against Damascus and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir; then he killed Rezin.

Recently, my cable provider re-ran a movie—The Road to Perdition — that helped revive an old, descriptive phrase. Part of the saga of God’s people, Israel, could also be described as such. When the leaders and the people “did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord God, as their ancestor David had done, but … walked in the way of the kings of Israel”, their path to captivity and hardship in Assyria was set. Ahaz was taken down that tragic road. It could be seen as God’s punishment. It could be seen as the logical consequence of sinful and self-destructive behavior. That is often the case on the road to perdition.


God, keep my heart set on your Word and Your will so that I don’t find myself being led down a path I don’t wish to travel. Make me a joyful follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.