Isaiah prophesies against Damascus; Ahaz turns away from God and takes Judah with him: Isaiah 17:1−14; 2 Chronicles 28:16−21; 2 Kings 16:10−20; 2 Chronicles 28:22−27; 2 Kings 15:30−31; 2 Kings 17:1−4
Having abandoned God, and ignoring Isaiah’s warnings about Damascus, Ahaz turned to Assyria for help against invading armies, but this time he found himself under attack from his former ally. His and his officials’ wealth couldn’t buy off Assyria.
Ahaz’s response? To go to Damascus and adopt their gods:
2 Chronicles 28:22-23 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord. 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.’
We’re told this was Ahaz’s downfall and ‘the downfall of all Israel’. There is a suggestion that it might not have been all his own idea since we’re told Ahaz:
2 Kings 16:18He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the Lord, in deference to the king of Assyria.
Even so, he was an enthusiastic adopter of his new gods:
2 Chronicles 28:24-25Ahaz … shut the doors of the Lord’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.