Ahaz chose to double-down on sin in the face of God’s judgment.
When God sent the army of Israel to defeat him, he offered more pagan sacrifices. When the Edomites occupied towns and villages, he destroyed the articles of worship in the temple of God and locked it up so not only would he not worship the Lord, but he prevented others from doing so.
In the face of consequences for our wrongdoing, we have two options:
1. Recognize that we’ve done wrong, and make the appropriate changes.
2. Insist in our righteousness, and continue with behavior that is self-destructive.
Because of the cross, those who are in Christ no longer face judgment or God’s wrath. Every bit of God’s wrath toward us was poured out on Jesus and “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
However, consequences for our actions are part of the natural law. Just as gravity tells us if we jump off a building, we will fall to the ground; so there are natural results of our actions.
It seems so easy to see the correct choice, especially in light of Ahaz’s example of what not to do. But, as for me, too often I cling to thinking I’m right, rather than turning from behavior I know is not edifying. Old habits die hard, yet when I recognize them for sin, God is faithful to offer the strength and will to overcome.
What self-destructive patterns has God helped you overcome when you turned them over to Him?