Ahaz was king over Judah, and he did not follow the path of his father. For 16 years he thought he could reign over the nation without the Lord, but he failed to remember that it was the Lord who sustained his father (16:1-9). Ahaz had great failures, but it is one notable failure that is highlighted in this chapter. The king took upon himself the authority to change what the Lord decreed many generations before him. Having been overcome by Syria, the king of Judah thought it must have been Syria idol gods that brought them victory. Thus, he replicates the altar of burnt offering and demands to use it in Jerusalem. This destroyed the king (16:10-20).
Application: As egregious as the king’s errors were, what stands out to me in this chapter is the High Priest. If he was a political man, then it would be easy to see what and why he did what he did. On the other hand, if he had any semblance of devotion to the Lord, how in the world could he have done what he did? It gets to a great question that each of us has to answer: when our backs are pushed up against the wall, to whom shall we render service?