Pastor Tim Romero
2 Chronicles 28:22-23
2 Chronicles 28:22–23 (ESV): "22 In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord—this same King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, "Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me." But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel."
Through free will God has given man the ability to choose evil or walk in His grace. Sadly most people will choose the former and walk in just about anything other than God's grace. Regardless, God never oversteps man's will to follow the wickedness of his own heart.
When Ahaz became King of Judah he led the people into idolatry. He made offerings in the high places to Baal as well as the Valley of Hinnom where he sacrificed his own children to Molech. Because of this God sent judgment upon Ahaz and the people of Judah by way of the Syrians who gave them over into the hands of the men of Israel. Pekah, the King of Israel slaughtered 120,000 men of valor from Judah in one day and took 200,000 as slaves. God would send a prophet to Israel to tell them to release the captives who were their own countryman. Judah continued to be toppled over and over again and then King Ahaz sought the help of the Assyrians who also turned against him and afflicted him. Regardless, Ahaz would not turn his heart to God. The more hardship he experienced the more faithless he became. He turned his heart to the idols of the Syrians because he thought they were responsible for their victory over Judah. Ahaz provoked God with idolatry all the days of his life.
The ability to walk in free will is an incredible responsibility we should not take lightly. We should diligently consider every step we take and never make the mistake of interpreting God's patience as His approval. He will allow us to walk on all kinds of wickedness but ultimately He will not contend with man forever. He will bring chastisement upon those whom He loves to encourage them to turn their hearts towards Him but He will never force anyone to worship Him on this side of eternity. One day every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord but God won't make anyone do that in this life. Choose this day to serve the Lord. Walk-in His ways and not the waywardness of your own heart. The choice is yours, choose wisely!
Father, we thank You for being faithful to us always. Even though we have free will You are constantly encouraging us through all kinds of means to walk in Your ways. Forgive us for choosing to sin. Forgive us for walking away from You and seeking consolation, peace and pleasure in other things. May we never again give our hearts to another. Fill us with wisdom to make the right choices and give us a passion to be obedient to Your Word we pray in Jesus' name, amen.