PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: 2 Chronicles 27-28
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“The Lord had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 28:19).
Both Jotham and his son Ahaz reigned for 16 years, but there the similarity ends.
Jotham did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (27:2), but Ahaz did not (28:1).
Ahaz turned the temple and the land of Judah into a perverse altar, even sacrificing his kids.
The author seems to credit God for Jotham’s successes, and for Ahaz’s defeats.
We then view our own lives on this template: success equals blessing, defeat equals curse.
But the Lord is not arbitrarily stepping in to impose a punishment because of Ahaz.
Ahaz brings it on himself – and the people – playing with fire and getting burned.
This is how evil works; if someone plays with it, they and those around them pay for it.
The Lord allows us the freedom of choice and consequence, instead of always intervening.
The Lord does intervene to help us (like with Obed, 28:9), but we do not always listen.
The question when I struggle is not ‘what did I do wrong’, but ‘how can I cling to God’.
We don’t always choose our struggles, but we can choose how we respond to them.
Unlike Ahaz, in troubled times don’t make things worse by adding fuel to the fire (see 28:22).
Your current struggles do not mean the Lord is punishing you, but the Lord is calling you in them!
Lord, it is not your fault that our world is in the mess it is. But it does remind us of what happens when we stray from you and your good purpose for us. Help me to see my current struggles as an opportunity to cling more closely to you.