That worship is to be according to Scripture is called the “regulative principle”. God tells us how to worship Him in His Word. That was true under the Law of Moses in Old Testament times and it is true today. Ahaz blatantly disregarded this principle as we see in today’s reading.
There are variations in the interpretation of the regulative principle. Some hold that whatever is not prohibited by the Bible for worship is permissible. Others teach that only those activities and practices which are explicitly commanded in God’s Word are acceptable. Probably many churches are somewhere in the middle on the subject, between these two positions. Apparently, Ahaz didn’t give this principle much thought, but we should even if we don’t totally agree with each other on the details. Worship is for the glory of God and our highest concern should be with pleasing Him.
Jehu was a king who got mixed reviews. He did better than other kings but did not serve God fully. You could say he came in first. But first was not good enough. Maybe he compared himself to others and felt he had done enough. His scale of values was distorted by human failings.
God made us to be His image bearers, to reflect His glory. As fallen creatures we do not achieve that perfectly. Only Jesus Christ lived a sinless, completely God-honoring life. Yet we will be like Him (I John 3:1-3). That is our destiny. Do not settle for first place, like Jehu, but seek to grow in Christlikeness.
We are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel, bad news and good news. We may not tamper with the message to make it more palatable or pleasant. Be faithful as you preach the gospel even through tears.
We are fed by a steady diet of bad news. Chaos seems to reign around the globe: famine, war, terrorism, poverty, global warming, political corruption, and so on. We need to be reminded that these kinds of crises have existed for thousands of years. Is God still God? Absolutely. Trust Him come what may.
God gave Elisha the power to perform miracles as a means of certifying the authenticity of the prophet’s role. There are clear parallels to several of Jesus’ miracles. Yet the seeking of signs and miracles can be an obstacle to faith (Matthew 12:38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:22). Jesus is the culmination of God’s revelation to us in His Word, the Bible (Hebrews 1:1-2). Let us be diligent to study and believe what He has revealed in Scripture.
It is a foolish but common ploy to attack the person delivering a true, irrefutable but inconvenient message. A wise person will take heed to a warning and make amends quickly. Today we meet a king who was neither wise nor godly and the prophet who delivered the unwelcome message.