Royalty and Ruin


Ahaz Almost Ruins the Kingdom

The crowning of Ahaz as king brought Isaiah face to face with conditions more appalling than any that had ever existed up to that time in Judah. Many were now being persuaded to worship heathen deities. Princes proved untrue to their trust; false prophets led people astray; some priests worked only for the money. Yet the leaders in apostasy still kept up the forms of divine worship and claimed to be the people of God. RR 118.1

The prophet Micah declared that sinners in Zion, while blasphemously boasting, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us,” continued to “build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with iniquity.” Micah 3:11, 10. Isaiah lifted his voice in stern rebuke: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me? ... When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts?” Isaiah 1:11, 12. RR 118.2

Inspiration declares, “The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!” Proverbs 21:27. It is not because God is unwilling to forgive that He turns from the transgressor; rather, because the sinner refuses the abundant provisions of grace, God is unable to deliver from sin. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2. RR 118.3

Isaiah called the attention of the people to the weakness of their position among the nations and showed that this was the result of wickedness in high places: “The Lord, the Lord of hosts, takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stock and the store, the whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water; the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder; the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter. ‘I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.’” “For Jerusalem stumbled, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord.” Isaiah 3:1-4, 8. RR 118.4

“Those who lead you,” the prophet continued, “cause you to err.” Verse 12. Scripture says about Ahaz, “He walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel.” 2 Kings 16:3. RR 118.5