6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: King Ahaz was like many immature American Christians, who are lured by the world's deceptive popularity and prosperity, not knowing their decision will bring about their downfall.

THE LURE OF POPULARITY

2 Chron. 28:22-23

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. Three men went into a greasy spoon restaurant in England and each ordered a bowl of soup. When they got their soup, each had a fly in their soup.

2. The first man, an Irishman, just picked it out, threw it away, and kept eating. The second man, an Englishman, called the waiter over, “I say, old man, there’s a fly in my soup. Could you bring me a new bowl please?”

3. The third man, a stingy Scotsman, picked the fly out, shook it over the bowl, and yelled, “Spit it out; spit it out!” [Told to me by a Scotsman!]

4. Hopefully we won’t need the extra drop that badly!

B. TEXT

1. 22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” 2Chron. 28:22-23

10 “Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction. 14 As for the bronze altar that stood before the Lord, he brought it from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the temple of the Lord—and put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 King Ahaz then gave these orders to Uriah the priest: “On the large new altar, offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar for seeking guidance.” 2 Kgs. 16:10,14-15

“But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.” 2 Chron. 28:23D

C. THESIS

1. We’re going to look tonight at a man who was like many immature American Christians, who see the lure of the world and want to be a part of its deceptive prosperity, not knowing

their decision will bring about their downfall.

2. The title of tonight’s message is “The Lure of Popularity.”

I. AHAZ DECIDES TO PRAISE THE GOD WHO DEFEATED HIM

A. WRONG INTERPRETATION OF GOD’S DEALINGS

1. If we’re in disobedience to God, God is forced to withdraw His protection of us. Then bad things can happen to us. Not that God wants this; He only wants us blessed. But God can’t bless disobedience or there won’t be any incentive for us to do right.

2. This is what happened to Ahaz; he disobeyed God and was defeated. The problem is that Ahaz misinterpreted the whole situation. Instead of seeing his defeat as a punishment for his unfaithfulness to God, Ahaz thinks it proves his opponent’s deity is stronger than his own!

3. So Ahaz decides to start worshipping whichever god appears to win the battles; in this case, the god of Tiglath-Pileser.

4. But in doing this he ticks off the only True God, so his situation goes from bad to worse.

B. PEOPLE FREQUENTLY THINK GOD’S CORRECTION SHOWS HE DOESN’T LOVE THEM; BUT THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.

1. The Bible teaches that if a parent loves their child, they’ll correct them – to save the kids from the bad things that will happen to them if they keep going on that course.

2. “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

as a father the son he delights in” Prov. 3:11-12.

3. So it’s actually because God loves us that He let’s us get caught when we do bad things. When my family was still lost, I remember my mother telling me, “God always makes sure we get caught. Others may get away with it, but God loves us enough to deal with us.”

C. AHAZ DECIDED TO SERVE THE GOD WHO WAS DESTROYING HIM!

1. If someone is destroying you, you sure don’t want to get closer to them! Like wanting to hug a shark or an alligator.

2. Anything you’re DOING that’s harming you, you should get away from. Any PEOPLE who are leading you into trouble, you need to get away from them.

3. Ahaz’s choice reminds me of the Kurdu, a hill tribe in India of some 98,000 people, who had as their supreme desire and objective in life to be filled with demons.

4. When filled, they believe, their lives will be immune to attack or harm from the evil forces. Oh yes, they believed in God, but they feared the evil spirits more than they feared God.

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