Ahaz, king of Judah, His wicked reign. (1-9) Ahaz takes a
pattern from an idol's altar. (10-16) Ahaz spoils the temple.
Few and evil were the days of Ahaz. Those whose hearts
condemn them, will go any where in a day of distress, rather
than to God. The sin was its own punishment. It is common for
those who bring themselves into straits by one sin, to try to
help themselves out by another.
God's altar had hitherto been kept in its place, and in
use; but Ahaz put another in the room of it. The natural regard
of the mind of man to some sort of religion, is not easily
extinguished; but except it be regulated by the word, and by the
Spirit of God, it produces absurd superstitions, or detestable
idolatries. Or, at best, it quiets the sinner's conscience with
unmeaning ceremonies. Infidels have often been remarkable for
believing ridiculous falsehoods.
Ahaz put contempt upon the sabbath, and thus opened a
wide inlet to all manner of sin. This he did for the king of
Assyria. When those who have had a ready passage to the house of
the Lord, turn it another way to please their neighbours, they
are going down-hill apace to ruin.