Private Sin – Public Consequences
"Ahaz said, I will not." -- Isaiah 7:12
The Lord God sent his prohet Isaiah to Ahaz the King of Judah, to warn him not to make a confederacy with Assyria, but to trust the Lord alone. Ahaz, being the wretched king he was, said, "I will not." He even pretended to excuse his disobedience by claiming great reverence for God! Ahaz's disobedience was horrible. And it had horrible consequences upon Ahaz. But his unbelief and disobedience to God affected many, many people. As the king of Judah, everything he did, good or bad, affected the whole nation. Ahaz, by his actions, led the whole nation in rebellion against God and brought the judgment of God upon it (Isa. 8:5-8). The inhabitants of Judah forsook the Lord because of Ahaz!
What does this have to do with us? It gives us a very solemn warning. All of our actions, good or bad, affect the lives of all who are under our influence. Like it or not, none of us live as an island. What we do, or do not do, does affect other people for good or for evil. And God holds us responsible for those who fall under the sphere of our influence (Read Ezek.33:1-9). Cain asked the Lord, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Here is the answer: You are either your brother's keeper or your brother's murderer! Ahaz was as responsible for the desolations of Judah as the Assyrian king who brought those desolations.
Pastors, remember Ahaz! It is your responsibility to lead the church of God in doctrine, in word, and by example. And God holds you responsible to lead his church to Christ. Woe to that man who abuses the pastoral office and leads men and women away from Christ!
Husbands, remember Ahaz! It is your responsibility to serve God as prophet, priest, and king in your household, to lead your family in the fear of the Lord, to trust, worship, and serve him. See that you do so.
Parents, remember Ahaz! God has made you king over your children, to lead them by word, example, and discipline in the way of faith and godliness. You are responsible to provide for their physical welfare. But, far more importantly, you are responsible to provide for their spiritual welfare.
Child of God, remember Ahaz! You are responsible to direct all whom you influence to Christ by example and by word. Neighbors, co-workers, employees, and employers, all who by God's providence fall under your influence, you are responsible to influence for good. By what you say and by what you do, lead the people you influence to the Savior.