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.
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SDA Bible Commentary (limited)
12. Offered thereon. An act of brazen effrontery to the God of heaven. According to 2 Chron. 28:23 Ahaz had previously “sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me.” Now that the Syrian gods had failed to deliver Syria out of the hands of Tiglath-pileser, Ahaz evidently regarded the Assyrian gods as the more powerful and henceforth was ready to give them homage.
Such warped thinking on the part of the king of Judah illustrates the extent to which God’s original plan for Israel had failed. It was God’s purpose through the nation of Israel to give a demonstration of the absolute superiority of the God of Israel that would eventually lead all nations to seek after the God of the Hebrews. The very opposite effect resulted from the defection of Israel’s kings. Neighboring nations were led to regard with disdain the God who according to their interpretation had repeatedly shown Himself inferior to the gods of Israel’s conquerors (see Ex. 32:12; Num. 14:13; Deut. 9:28; Ps. 79:10).