Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ahaz's Altar

The apostasy of Ahaz has already been mentioned. One aspect that I neglected to cover was his altar.

When Ahaz was in the process of selling out to the Assyrians, he made a trip to Damascus to meet with Tiglath-Pileser III:
10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
13 And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
(2 Kings 16:10–13, KJV)
The previous altar was a crude thing, the stones were unpolished (Exodus 20:25), but it had been in the service of the Lord for a long time and had served well. Ahaz apparently wanted it to follow more in the fashion of the world rather than be distinctively Israelite. He wanted a trendy and polished altar, even if he had to pollute it to get his way.

God let Ahaz have his way but even so no one would consider Ahaz righteous.