Fourth Woe: Apostasy

Isaiah 5:20. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

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The subversion of moral principals had become rampant in Judah and Jerusalem.  You cannot worship some man-created god and still pretend to practice true godliness.  The two things simply cannot exist in the same space.

I keep going back to something a pastor of ours said many years ago:  Sin will always take you farther than you intended to go. It is like a whirlpool–wide and slow-moving at the top, but once you are caught in, and  it circles downward, it narrows and goes faster and faster  until you are without escape.

Any society can legalize sin if they choose to do so, and maybe that makes people feel better about whatever they are doing that is against God’s truth. However, legalizing sin does not make it acceptable to God. In our pitiful pride and self-confidence, we look at God and say, “But we made a rule that it is okay now to kill babies!” or whatever other heinous act we now accept as normal.  God will not be impressed. He never changes, and we are foolish to believe that we can function against His power and still escape destruction.

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Window

We’ve lived in our house for 22 years.  The house is maybe 60 or 70 years old, and has been well-kept.  The windows, though, weren’t so great.  Terry has replaced all of them over the years, except for the bay window in the dining room and the picture window in the living room.

Early last week, he spotted a perfect window for the dining room that had been reduced by half in price because of a very minor flaw that he can easily repair.  Yesterday, some very kind friends came over to help him with the installation.  He had already removed all the interior trim, and the glass, along with the wooden framing.  When the men showed up, they had some final preparation to do, which took longer than Terry had anticipated.  But they got the job done, and I’m really delighted with it. Not only does it look nice, but it should also help keep heating costs down a little during the cold weather.

It is not unusual for me to think of a song connected to whatever is going on.  This time, it’s  The Windows of Heaven are Open. 

I’m so thankful that God’s windows are always open, waiting to allow His blessings to fall on us.

Depression, Again

Those of us who blog via Word Press have access to several interesting options.  One that I like a lot, and just recently added to my site, lists the ten most-read posts for each day. The one that is almost always on the top of the list is:

https://lindasbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/king-david-and-depression/

The fact that this post is nearly always at the top, every single day, leads me to realize just how many people are struggling with depression.  With that in mind, I want to encourage you to read all the posts that covered the topic of depression. You can start here and read all of the rest of the depression posts by following  the the word “Next” at the bottom  of the post. Maybe you aren’t the one who has depression; maybe it’s a family member or a friend, and you’re looking for ways to help. Maybe you’ll find something in one of my posts that will help.  I hope so.

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Third Woe:Iniquities

Isaiah 5:19:”That say, Let Him make speed, and hasten His work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh, and come, that we may know it!”

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This iniquity was mentioned in the previous verse:  The people were guilty of daring presumption and defiance against God. They dragged a huge load of iniquity, and they were roped by a load of sin.

In this verse, Isaiah is more specific. One of their biggest iniquities was that they scoffed at God’s Word and belittled His Name. They were sarcastic in their use of the title Holy One of Israel, the title that Isaiah had used previously in  chapter 1. They were saying, in our vernacular, “Bring it on!  Let’s see if God can do what you, Isaiah, are saying He can do!”

The people were so full of themselves that they didn’t even have a clear understanding of what the prophecies Isaiah had uttered were really all about.

It makes me think of  the time I warned one of my children not to touch the burners on the stove. “Hot!  Don’t Touch!”  But the child was curious, and didn’t realize the full danger. He got his fingers burned.  Then, he finally understood.  For a while he went around the whole house, pointing at various things and saying,  “Hot, Mommy?  Hot?” It took him only once to understand that if he touched something hot, it would burn him. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had  defied God over and over, paying for their sin over and over, but never really seeming to “get it.”  They were scoffing at Isaiah’s warnings.

They weren’t scoffing, however, when those prophecies were fulfilled.

Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride

Isaiah 5: “Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope.”

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Imagine that you are the one who is pulling.  Imagine that all those chairs were were the load of sin that is lying and seductive teaching.   Imagine that if even one sin were taken out of that pile, then the whole pile will come crashing down. But you are hanging on tightly to your vanity, and pulling the whole load like a burro who is straining to pull a heavy wagon up a steep hill.

The difference, of course, is that the burro can’t be rid of his load unless the owner frees him; the man in the picture could put down his load and walk in freedom if he would forsake his vanity and pride.

Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free; and be not again entangled with the yoke of the enemy.”

The Second Woe (Final)

Isaiah 5: 15-17.

15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:

16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.

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Sin always takes us farther than we intended  it to. Once we have taken those first steps, it is very hard to turn around and go the other way.  And sin replaces God.  The sin becomes that which we worship.

God, however, does not let Himself be displaced. There always comes a time of confrontation, whether it is personal, church-wide, or nation-wide. If the hearts of believers turn to God, unbelievers will come to Christ, and there can be a revival!

When we persist in our sin, then God brings judgment. When He does, He will be exalted, sinners will be humbled, and others will enjoy the fruits of our labor. It’s called “the spoils of war,”  The winner takes everything, and the loser is brought to nothing.

The Second Woe

Isaiah 5: 13-14. “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”

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These verses are a continuation of the second woe, the abuse of alcohol, which turns men’s hearts away from the worship of Jehovah. Because of their lack of the knowledge of the truth, there would be famine and death. No one would be spared, from the man of high position to the lowliest beggar.  Hell (Sheol, in this passage) is going to open her mouth wide and many will descend into Sheol because of drunkenness.

If you are interested, I did some googling on Sheol, Hades, Hell, Paradise, etc. This website gives a good, clear view of the differences:

https://gotquestions.org/sheol-hades-hell.html