There is a widespread view in today’s world that there is no connection between public and private morality. Surveys show that generally speaking people can act as if there is no connection. But the bible knows no such distinctions. As far as God is concerned morality is one and indivisible. What a person is in private he or she is likely to be in public life.
“They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the heads of the poor and pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go into the same girl, to defile My Holy name. They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their God.” (Amos 2:7,8)
I remember my grandfather once said: “If a man who works for me cheats on his wife, then he is likely to cheat on me.” It may be convenient for those in public life to argue otherwise but the truth is there is no real division between private and public.
Israel’s leaders, as we see from the book of Amos, are judged for oppressing the weak, vulnerable, and helpless. These verses also show us that both the boardroom and the bedroom are subject to God’s law! As we see, in not only the political but in most public scenes, God is scandalized by the culture today. What is most serious is that, by their actions, God’s holy name is profaned across the countryside and the world. By choosing Israel to be His show piece nation God has put His reputation on the line. Such behavior as Amos now exposes drags God’s good name into disrepute. For this, Judah was sent into exile 150 years later. No wonder Jesus made it first priority for His disciples to pray that God’s name would again be hallowed in Israel. Nothing more matters to God than the honor of His name! Let us all honor the name of the Lord in everything we do, and in every place we do it!