2 Kings 16

Talks for Growing Christians

The Reign of Ahaz, King of Judah

2 Kings 16

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Lesson Number 30

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. 1. Idolatry involves the worship of false gods.
  2. 2. Idolatry includes false worship of the true God.

Practical Application

  1. What king is directing your activity?


  1. What is God’s position on child sacrifice? Was it occurring in Israel and Judah at this time?
  2. What was the consequence of King Ahaz’ idolatry.
  3. How did King Ahaz respond to the attack of these two kings?
  4. How did King Ahaz introduce the worship of false gods in Judah?
  5. How did King Ahaz introduce the false worship of the true God?


  1. Of course, child sacrifice was strictly forbidden under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 18:21). Child sacrifice was practiced regularly in the northern kingdom of Israel and it had also come into Judah through King Ahaz.
  2. Because of King Ahaz’ idolatry and child sacrifice God allowed Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the king of northern Israel to attack Judah and besiege Ahaz’ capital city of Jerusalem. Although they were not able to conquer Jerusalem, they did capture some territory including the important port city of Elath on the Gulf of Aqaba and they inflicted heavy losses on Judah.
  3. Rather than turn to the Lord for deliverance, Ahaz sent messengers and money to Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria for help. Tiglath-Pileser brought Ahaz temporary relief by attacking Damascus, the capital of Syria and King Rezin of Syria was killed.
  4. King Ahaz requested an altar be built in Jerusalem like the pagan altar he had seen in Damascus. Second Chronicles 28 reports that he began to worship the gods of Damascus.
  5. He moved the Bronze Altar of the Lord out of its central place in the Temple Court against the divine pattern given in the book of Exodus. He replaced the Bronze Altar with his new pagan altar and ordered the priests to offer their morning and evening sacrifices to the Lord on this new altar.


  1. 1. Discuss the difference between a “Christian home” and a “Christ-centered home.” The answer partially lies in the idolatry of things over the worship of the one true God.
  2. 2. Read John 4:23-24. In Christendom today there are all kinds of departures from the simple and straightforward approach to the one true God. Why do you think it is man’s tendency to make worship of God more complicated than it has to be? Do you take time to simply worship God?


  1. King Ahaz diminished the glory of the Temple in Jerusalem, on account of the king of Assyria. This pagan king was directing his activities. What about you? Is the Lord truly directing your activities, or are you being influenced by the world system?

Key Verses

  • “But [Ahaz] walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel.” 2 Kings 16:3
  • “Also he removed the Sabbath pavilion which they had built in the temple, and he removed the king's outer entrance from the house of the LORD, on account of the king of Assyria.” 2 Kings 16:18

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