2 Kings 16:1-9 (Part 2) – All She Wants to Do is Dance

Posted: August 21, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 16:1-9 (Part 2 of 2)

Ahaz Begins His Reign in Judah

Yesterday, we saw how far from God King Ahaz was such that he willingly sacrificed his own baby boy to an idol. He was the leader of what was once a nation of people truly favored by God. How far Israel and Judah have fallen since the days of David. Today, as we write about this passage, we look beyond the king himself to the general state of the nations of Israel and Judah. Again, we see in this passage a king that would rather bankrupt his country to maintain his throne than stand and fight. Earlier we saw how Israel’s king had empty his treasuries as tribute to the Assyrians to try to preserve his kingdom. However, in the end, the Assyrian king conquered the kingdom anyway. What did the Judean king think? That it would be different this time? For him?

There is an old saying that “the definition of insanity is doing the same old things over and over again expecting different results.” There is another saying too that says, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s what I see here in this passage. The king of Judea is repeating the same actions as the king of Israel but expecting different results. He did not learn from the history of the situation in the northern kingdom.

That got me to thinking about how similar to these actions we are today. For those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior are repeating the actions of history but are expecting different results. As our nation drifts away from God, we do not see what happened to Israel and Judah. Our nation has been shown great favor over the past 300 years. To grow from a fledgling colony in the wilderness of a barely inhabited continent to a world power within less than 300 years is an amazing fact and shows the favor of God upon our nation. Generally, our nation was one that placed God in the center of the public square. God was spoken of freely and made part of our public discourse.

However, in the last half of the 20th century and even more so in this century, we developed a greater sense that it was us that made our nation great and not God. It is very similar to the track of the history of the once unified nation of ancient Israel. As we gained our place on the world stage as the big boy on the block so did our sense of self-reliance. As we gained in material wealth, we also pushed God out of the way and begin worshiping ourselves just as Israel had done. Just as Israel and Judah became obsessed with their own pleasure-seeking so too has our nation become preoccupied with ourselves and our comfort. As Israel and Judah would do anything, make any deal, to maintain their peaceful enjoyment of their own pleasures, our nation seems to be losing its way as the leader in the world. We are more concerned with individual self-expression that we are with doing what is right for our nation as a whole and doing what is right in the sight of God. There is an old song by Don Henley from the 1980’s that is as prophetic as it was a funky tune called, “All She Wants to Do is Dance!”

That was the song that came to mind this morning when I thought about this passage. How Israel and Judah were more concerned about their self-pleasure than they were about preserving their nation. How Israel and Judah were so wrapped up in their idolatrous lifestyle that they could not see that these invading nations were a warning from God to return unto Him. They simply wanted to continue to dance at whatever the cost because all she wants to do is dance.

Let’s read the passage, 2 Kings 16:1-9, now with that idea in mind:

Chapter 16

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, King Ahaz son of Jotham of Judah began to reign. 2 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, 3 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 drove out before the people of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and made offerings on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 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. 6 At that time the king of Edom[a] recovered Elath for Edom,[b] and drove the Judeans from Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath, where they live to this day. 7 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.” 8 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. 9 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.

In this passage, we see that both the northern kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Aram were both under Assyrian control. They joined forces against Judah hoping to force the southern kingdom to join their revolt against Assyria. However, Ahaz decided to throw his fortunes, metaphorically and literally, at the feet of the Assyrian king, thwarting the plans of the kings of Israel and Aram. It came at great cost though. Judah was now a vassal kingdom under the control of Assyria. He took the treasury of the Temple and the palace to satisfy the king of Assyria. Rather than lead a national revival of repentance return to God, the king decided to make a deal with the Assyrian king that had already proven to his fellow Israelites that he will only keep his word for a time and only if it is to his advantage.

The takeaway from today is that we must learn from Israel and Judah so that we do not repeat its mistakes. Our nation has drifted from God and many of the things that we worship as being OK today that are against God’s timeless and ageless Word will come to haunt us as a nation someday. The favor shown us will be withdrawn. Will we realize it and return to God or will we continue down the same road as Israel and Judah? Will we return to God or will we be more concerned with “all she wants to do is dance!”

Amen and Amen.

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