What are the sins that threaten to bring judgment upon these people?
“The accession of Ahaz to the throne brought Isaiah and his associates face to face with conditions more appalling than any that had hitherto existed in the realm of Judah. Many who had formerly withstood the seductive influence of idolatrous practices were now being persuaded to take part in the worship of heathen deities. Princes in Israel were proving untrue to their trust; false prophets were arising with messages to lead astray; even some of the priests were teaching for hire. Yet the leaders in apostasy still kept up the forms of divine worship and claimed to be numbered among the people of God. “The prophet Micah, who bore his testimony during those troublous times, declared that sinners in Zion, while claiming to ‘lean upon the Lord,’ and blasphemously boasting, ‘Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us,’ continued to ‘build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.’ Micah 3:10-11.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 322.
One of the constant problems that the Hebrew nation faced was the deception that their special status as God’s people—their knowledge of the true God, as opposed to the silliness of the pagan idolatry (see Ps. 115:4-9)—made them somehow immune to divine retribution. The terrible truth, however, was that it was precisely because they had special status before God that they would be deemed that much more guilty for their sins. Time and again, such as in the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord warned them that all the blessings, protection, and prosperity that would be theirs were conditioned upon obedience to His commands, such as seen in this caution: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons” (Deut. 4:9).
However much we might try to fool ourselves, in what ways are we, as Seventh-day Adventists, with so much light, in danger of making this same error?