Fathers in the Bible: Ahaz and Manasseh, the Evil Fathers

Today, we are going to visit with two kings no one would want to be the child of.

Ahaz means one that takes or has held.  He was the son of Jotham and father of Hezekiah. He was the 12th king of Judah and reigned for 16 years.

“Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the sons of Israel. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.” (2 Kings 16:2–4)

Unlike his father, Ahaz did not walk with God but did evil in his sight.  He desecrated the holy places and burned incense where he shouldn’t.

“They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.” (2 Kings 17:16–18)

Ahaz passed his children through the fires, practicing sorcery. He didn’t mind slaughtering and harming his own children.  The Lord chastised him and took his anger out on him.

““Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened,” declares the Lord God. “Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? “You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire.” (Ezekiel 16:19–21)

Ahaz wasn’t the only King of Judah to kill his children.  His grandson, Manasseh, did the same thing. Maybe he’d heard stories about Ahaz.

Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah and the 13th King of Judah. His name means causing to forget.

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years.”  {1 Kings 21:1}

He was young when he became king, bur ruled for a long time.  However, like his grandfather he did evil in the Lord’s site.

“ He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.”    {1 Kings 21:2}

He rebuilt all the structures his grandfather built to other gods and his father destroyed.

“He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them”   {1 Kings 21:3}

He worshiped other gods and practiced sorcery as his grandfather had.

“In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.”  {1 Kings 21:5}

We are not told his son names or anything about them.  Only about the evil he did and that he sacrificed his own son.

“But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.”  {1 Kings 21:9}

Ahaz and Manasseh were the evil fathers.

It is easy to lead our children astray in the ways of the world and to teach them to worship other gods instead training them to worship the Lord God.

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