Lesson: King Ahaz's brings great suffering to Judah

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The kings of israel Sunday School Bible Lessons for childrenThis is a continuation of the study of Israel’s Kings.  The lesson covers the reign of King Ahaz over the Southern Kingdom.  Students will see how sin affects others.  Many people in Ahaz’s kingdom suffered as a result of his idolatry and rebellion against God.  Students will learn that individuals are responsible before God and their sin affects others.
This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class.  It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs.  Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.

Bible Story Title: King Ahaz’s wickedness brings great suffering to Judah
Bible Passage: 2 Chronicles 28
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List:  Bibles, index cards
Learning Goal: Students will learn that sin always affects others and each individual is responsible for his/her choices before God.
Learning Activity #1: Sin’s Consequences (Examples from Scripture): Create Cards with people from the Bible who affected others because they sinned and people who were affected by others’ sins. Have the name written on the card with Scripture references for students to discover whether the person affected others or were affected by someone’s sin. (Examples:  Adam-Romans 5:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:22)  Abraham (Genesis 12:10-20) Achan (Joshua 7) David (2 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 21) Jonah (Jonah 1), Jesus (Romans 4:25, Hebrews 2:9)
Learning Activity #2: Other activities for sin’s affect on others.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Teaching the Memory Verse:  Explain how a person’s actions have consequences.  Divide the verse into phrases (enough phrases for students to have one phrase) and place on the wall around the room or in students chairs.  Play ‘musical chairs’ and when the music stops the student says his/her phrase as the verse is recited.
Teacher Study Resources:  How sin affects others: (Sins of the Fathers) , The Blessing of Brokenness: Why God allows us to go through hard times, Others Suffer

Bible Lesson:  King Ahaz’s wickedness brings great suffering to Judah

As we learn about the history of God’s people in our study of Israel’s kings we have been on a journey that is a lot like riding a roller coaster.  When God’s people did what is right it has been an enjoyable ride.  We have seen God’s blessings and victory over the enemy God gave to those who did what pleased Him.  It has been a bumpy and not so enjoyable ride when we have seen God’s people sin and rebel.  The kings who rebelled against God were punished and were defeated by their enemies. (If your class has been studying the series have them share names of good kings and the bad kings.)
We are going to continue on this journey with the history of Israel’s kings.  Let’s turn to 2 Chronicles 28.
(If you have been teaching the series, review what the students remember about King Uzziah)  After King Uzziah died his son Jotham reigned over Judah for 16 years.  He was a good king.  He did what was right before the Lord.  Jotham was a powerful king because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.  (2 Chronicles 27:6)  Even though Jotham was a good king sin was still present like a virus in the lives of God’s people.  “The people, however, continued in their corrupt practices.” (2 Chronicles 27:2)
2 Chronicles 28:1-4 King Ahaz’s wickedness
After Jotham’s death Ahaz his son became king.  Choose volunteer to read 2 Chronicles 28:1.  (2 Kings 16:1-4)
Ahaz like all of us have a variety of people we can look to as role models.  As king over the southern kingdom of Judah Ahaz had many good examples to look to and model his leadership after.
Read verse 2.  Who did Ahaz model his leadership after?  (The wicked ways of Israel’s northern kings)  The entire history of the northern kingdom of Israel beginning with Jeroboam all the way to their exile (God’s punishment to them for their wickedness) is filled with wicked kings.  Not one of Israel’s northern kings did what was right in God’s sight. (1 Kings 12:26-33; 13:34; 2 Kings 13:2,6; 14:24; 15:9, etc)
Ahaz’s father Jotham was a king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord so Ahaz has no excuse for not having any Godly role models.

  • Whether we have good role models or not we all are responsible before God for each choice we make.  (Ezekiel 18; Romans 1:20, 3:23, 6:23, 14:12; James 4:17; Hebrews 9:27)

2 Chronicles 28:5-8 Consequences to Ahaz’s wickedness.
Read verse 5.  God was not pleased with Ahaz’s sin.  God is holy and must punish sin.  He punished Ahaz for his wickedness by allowing enemies to attack his kingdom.  (Southern Kingdom-Judah)
Blessings and victory are given to God’s people when they obey Him.  Distress and defeat are the consequences to disobedience.  (Deuteronomy 28) Ahaz’s sin brought God’s hand of punishment against him and the people of his kingdom.  God used enemies of the Southern Kingdom as His instruments to punish Ahaz.
Enemy #1:  Rezin King of Syria (Aram).  He defeats Ahaz and takes many of God’s people as prisoners back to Damascus. (2 Chronicles 28:5)
Enemy #2:  Pekah King of Israel (Northern Kingdom).  He attacks Ahaz and causes considerable damage to the Southern Kingdom.  His army kills 120,000 soldiers in one day.  A warrior from Israel named Zicri kill 3 men close to King Ahaz (his son Maaseiah, an officer in charge of the palace Azrikam, and a man second in charge to the king Elkanah)
There are consequences to our sin.  Who was affected by Ahaz’s sin?  (The people of his kingdom)

  • The consequences of my sin can cause pain and suffering to others around me.  As a believer my sin affects other believers (the Body of Christ) 1 Corinthians 12:26.  How does this challenge me to think before I choose to sin? (Sin is a choice)

2 Chronicles 28:9-15 Israel listens to Oded’s warning.
Read verse 9.  The army of the northern kingdom was an instrument of God’s punishment to the southern kingdom.  Both kingdoms are God’s chosen people from the nation of Israel.  Both kingdoms are under the same laws of God.
The Northern Kingdom is not righteous before God and we have already mentioned their wickedness and rebellion before God.  They were unrighteous and were already under the cloud of God’s punishment (future exile 2 Kings 15-17). They were not without sin before God and when they were given the opportunity to attack Judah they did so with cruelty.  When they took prisoners of their own people (2 Chronicles 28:8) they were breaking God’s laws (Leviticus 25:39-46)
God is full of mercy.  Even though Israel is wicked and deserves punishment for their sins, He sends a prophet named Oded to warn them to turn away from their cruel punishment of their own people.  Oded tells them to repent and send back the prisoners to the southern kingdom.  If they would not repent he told them that the Lord’s fierce anger rests on them (verse 11).
The leaders of Israel’s army obeyed what Oded said. They clothed the naked prisoners.  They gave them food to eat and water to drink.  They also put ointment on their wounds.  They put the weak on donkeys and took them back to their homes.  (Luke 10:25-37)

  • As believers we are to love our enemies and do good to them.  It does not please God if we treat them harshly or with cruelty. (Luke 10:27-31)

2 Chronicles 28:16-27 Ahaz’s refusal to repent.
When we face trouble and hardship in our lives it should cause us move closer to God.  When we move closer to God we see the sin in our lives.  When we see that sin we should repent and obey God.  The closer we are to God the more dependent we are on Him.  We realize that He is the One who is always with us and will always help us when we cry out to Him.
The consequences for Ahaz’s sins have caused him and his kingdom to suffer great loss.  Let’s read 2 Chronicles 28:22 to discover if the trouble and hardship has caused him to repent and come close to God. (No-unfortunately he becomes more unfaithful)
Enemy #3:  King of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser.
In his rebellion and unbelief of God’s promises Ahaz turns to the King of Assyria (Tiglath-Pileser) for help when he was attacked by another enemy (verse 16). Instead of helping Ahaz the king of Assyria only caused more trouble.
Ahaz turned even further away from God when he decided to have an altar built so he could worship the gods of Damascus. (2 Kings 16:10-14; 2 Chronicles 28:22-23)
The final thing recorded about Ahaz’s wicked reign is that he gathered the furniture from the temple and had it taken away.  He closed the doors of the temple and set up altars on every street corner for people to worship false gods.  His wickedness provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers to anger.  (2 Chronicles 28:25)
Challenges for our generation from Ahaz’s reign:

  • If you have a wicked leader ruling over you how do you respond?  We may not feel like we can make a big difference in our country if the leaders are wicked but God has told us that we should pray for our leaders.  (1Timothy 2:1-2)

Gospel Connection:  The ultimate example of the price of sin and its consequence is seen when Jesus Christ, the innocent Son of God was crucified on the cross.  He suffered humiliation and death because of my sin and yours. Jesus died in my place and yours to pay the price for our sins.  He took the pain and suffering that we deserved so that we don’t have to be punished and can have eternal life.  What do you need to do if you have never been saved from your sins? Admit to God that you are a sinner.  Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried and was raised from the grave three days later.  Confess to others that you believe that Jesus is the Savior.
Close in prayer.  Lord, help us to learn from Ahaz’s example that our sin has consequences and those consequences bring suffering to those around us.  May the thought of others having to suffer keep us from choosing to sin.  Help us to live a life that pleases you so that others can see Jesus in our lives.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Review Questions:

  1. Which kingdom was Ahaz king over?  (Southern Kingdom/Judah)
  2. What kind of king was he?  (Wicked, sinful like the Northern Kingdom)
  3. How did God punish Ahaz?  (Resin, Pekah, Tiglath-Pileser)
  4. Who suffered because of Ahaz’s sin (the people in his kingdom)
  5. What did the leaders of the Northern Kingdom’s army do that was obedient to Oded’s warning?  (Clothed the prisoners, fed them, put healing balm on them and released them)
  6. True or False:  Ahaz relied on God to help him defeat his enemies.  (False he asked the King of Assyria for help)
  7. How is the time of Ahaz’s reign over Judah similar to the nation you live in today?  How is it different?
  8. What do you need to change as a result of this lesson? (Personal-not to be answered out loud unless someone want to volunteer)

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