“When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus, and King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar and its pattern, exact in all its details. And Uriah the priest built the altar, in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus.”
-2 Kings 16:10–11
Do you realize what’s happening in these couple of verses? Not only is Ahaz not seeking God as king, but he goes to Assyria and he takes forms of idolatry from there and brings them into Israel’s worship. The picture here is Ahaz trusting in Assyria and the ways of Assyria, even the worship practices of Assyria, more than he’s trusting in God. He’s working in accord with the way Assyria works instead of the way God works, instead of the way God is to be worshiped. He’s trying to worship God, the one true God, in the way the world around him worships little G false gods. So as we see this picture in 2 Kings Chapter 16, let’s pray.
God, help us to worship You according to Your word, not according to the ways of this world.
God, help us to worship You according to Your word, not according to the ways of this world. Oh God, forgive us for the ways we approach You, the ways we claim to worship You, when the reality is we are just doing what we see around us in this world. God, we pray that You would help us to worship You in the way You have prescribed, in spirit and in truth, with holy lives, with holy thoughts, holy desires. Light of Your word in Romans Chapter 12, we would offer our bodies today as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to You. This is our spiritual act of worship. God, even as we think about all the times in the Old Testament when You said to Your people, ‘You bring me offerings, you offer songs, you perform rituals. I’ve asked for your humility and your holiness. I’ve asked for your hearts and devotion to Me.’ God help us not to sing our songs and to go through religious motions of supposed worship and neglect that which is most important, the surrender of our hearts and our minds and our desires and our words and our decisions, our lives, totally to You, laying ourselves on the altar.
God, we do that today. We lay ourselves before You, living sacrifices. We pray that You would be honored, that You would be glorified, that You would be lifted high in everything we think today and everything we desire today and everything we say today and everything we decide and everything we do. God to help us to lives of worship to You today, in everything we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31, whether we eat or drink, help us to do it all to Your glory. God, we want to worship You as You have called us to worship You, not in ways that we might devise or in ways of the world. God, we want to worship You according to Your word, in ways that bring You glory, in ways that are pleasing to You, in ways that are most pleasing to You.
Yes, God, may that be true in our lives today. May our lives be pleasing to You, an aroma, a sacrifice before You in everything we do, that You might be worshiped and glorified in spirit and in truth through us today. God may it be so. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.