And the bronze altar that was before the LORD he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of his altar. 15And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering and the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. And throw on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice, but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” ~ II Kings 16:14,15 ESV
Israel continues to slide further from God, each new king marking a new record low. Ahaz sacrificed his own children to false, foreign gods. He burned incense to them, he took money from the temple of the true God to pay for an alliance with an ungodly king. He sold himself out.
He also tried to hang on to the faith of David, a little. Taken with the model of an idol’s altar, he had one made just for him. He tried to “keep up with the Jones’s” and still keep God within reach. Moving the true altar to the side, he wanted to keep it on hand in case he ever had a question.
The power of the great I AM was unmistakable, but he wanted to retain the sacrifice part of faith (hoping to gain victory in battle and direction in times of uncertainty) without having to worry about the obedience aspect of it.The rest of the time (the morning offering, the evening, the blood, the kind’s offering, the grain offering, etc.) he wanted to call the shots.
Our faith is not built on a pick and choose mentality. It’s all or nothing. It’s the pearl of great price. Jesus Christ needs to be our everything.
We cannot borrow models from the world’s design. God has laid out how we should live and a book that shows us who He is. I need to avoid temptation to add or take away from God’s character based on what sounds pleasant to my human mind.
God needs to stay the center of my focus. He can’t be just part of the picture, He needs to be the center, the guide, the lead, the driver, the instructor, the epicenter that everything else reverberates out from.
Dear Lord, I want You to always be my ultimate priority. Give me the strength and wisdom to perpetually keep You first in my life. I don’t want You to be my last resort, but rather my first defense. Help me to put a hedge around Your place in my life and not let anything infringe on that. Lord, I don’t want to pattern my life according to the world’s example, but rather to always look to Your instruction and standards even when my sinfulness threatens to pull me a different direction. Thank you for Your gracious forgiveness when I fall short and the graphic reminders in Scripture to keep me learning at Your feet. ~Amen
From the archives. Originally published May 7, 2009.