Good King, Bad King
"[Ahaz] did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the LORD his God, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire." 2 Kings 16:2b-3a (NLT)
Today my heart is encouraged to pray for our all leaders. As Scripture shows, it is not easy being a leader. Sin and temptation constantly knock on their doors, as seen with Israel’s kings. For every one good king they had, they had two or three bad ones who gave in to sin. In today’s key verse, we meet a new king, Ahaz; unfortunately, he did not turn out to be a good king.
With the mention of each new king, the author compares them to the previous king. Though Ahaz had two great kings who served before him, his father Jotham and grandfather Uzziah, he allowed himself to be influenced by evil. Ahaz followed the example of the sinful King Pekah.
I can’t help but wonder how many Israelites prayed for their leaders. How many petitions were lifted to God on behalf of King Ahaz? As believers, we have the privilege and the responsibility to pray for those in leadership. Our world has always had righteous leaders and ungodly leaders. Some believe and serve the one true God while others do not. We need to pray that those who don't know the Lord will come to know Him. And that those who do know the Lord will deepen their relationship with Him in order to make godly decisions.
We should pray also for those who influence our leaders. King Pekah swayed Ahaz more than Ahaz's own father and grandfather. Those who surround leaders can impact their leadership and decision-making more than virtues and beliefs instilled in them by their own family.
Take a minute today to pray for those in any form of leadership around the world. Pray for both political and non-political, mentioning specific names if you know them. From presidents and council members … to pastors and VBS leaders … to CEOs and coaches … they each need our prayers to follow after the Lord and make godly decisions. What an awesome privilege we have!
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