My Circumstances Made Me Do It

A quick study of the line of Kings (and a Queen) who ruled Israel and Judah shows that each ruler had a sentence that summed up their lives: 

Either they did right in the eyes of the Lord 
they had done evil in the eyes of the Lord.

King Ahaziah ruled in Judah for a single year and the summary of his life was that he did evil.

Ahaziah’s circumstances strongly prepared him for failure. 

His father had been king before him and did evil. His mother was Athalia, the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in Israel. (In case their names don’t ring a bell: they were evil and murdered hundreds of God’s servants and prophets. They were the epitome of evil rulers.)

2 Chronicles 22:3 says, “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.” (Emphasis added.)

Verse 4 continues, “He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done. For after the death of his father they were his counselors, to his undoing.” (Emphasis added.)

Even understanding his awful circumstances, we read that he was 22 years old when he took the throne, so he was fully responsible for his choices. But what can we learn from his story?

This young man was surrounded by bad counsel. He chose to follow it. It got him killed, and left him in the camp of those “who did evil.”

It would be really easy to say Ahaziah’s circumstances were beyond his control. The people who were his evil counselors were powerful. In fact, after he died, his mother went on to kill every remaining heir to the throne (save for one infant who was rescued and hidden away) so that she could take the throne of Judah - and then she ruled for seven years!

For him to stand against them and choose to do what was right might have gotten him killed anyway. But it was a choice he had the ability to make.

So he’s not off the hook because of his circumstances. 

And neither are we.

This passage is a great example of just how important it is for us to seek wise, godly counsel.  
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs is full of wisdom sayings that insist that wise counsel is imperative to success and godly living.

We should take this as a gut-check to see what kind of advice we are giving to the people who look to us for wisdom. And we should take a hard look at who we are really listening to and taking our cues from in our own lives.

The advice we choose to follow should propel us to live in such a way that the summary of our lives is that we did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Don’t let yourself be led by those who would be your undoing.


  1. Thank you for this reminder and these wise words of wisdom! Love you Pastor Ana and miss you!


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