The book of Isaiah is filled with prophesies pointing the people of Judah to their near future along with the distant future. The amazing thing about these is we can see many of them already fulfilled in their history and in Christ’s coming. Along with these are prophesies that are still future to us. We can see God keeps His promises, and we can look forward with hope to the future outlined for us in scripture.
In today’s passage from Isaiah 5 we have a series of ‘Woes’ delivered by Isaiah to the people of Israel. He gives God’s the charges against them and the result of their disobedience. The Message translation uses the word doom which I think aptly describes their problems.
5:8 Doom to you who buy up all the houses
and grab all the land for yourselves—
Evicting the old owners,
posting no trespassing signs,
5:11 Doom to those who get up early
and start drinking booze before breakfast,
Who stay up all hours of the night
drinking themselves into a stupor.
5:18 Doom to you who use lies to sell evil,
5:20 Doom to you who call evil good
and good evil,
Who put darkness in place of light
and light in place of darkness,
Who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
5:21 Doom to you who think you’re so smart,
who hold such a high opinion of yourselves!
These warnings were given about 100 years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the Jews to Babylon. If we look at each one- these same accusations could be leveled against people in our day. Sin is sin – it has not changed over the centuries. What has changed is the ‘fix’ for our sinful condition. Jesus came to bring light, hope and redemption for our sin sick souls. We do not have to settle for treating others poorly, being addicted, wallowing in evil and lies, doing evil instead of good and over thinking ourselves! Jesus came to save us from our sins and call us to repentance. He came to provide a way for us to rid ourselves of these sinful habits and replace them with justice, mercy and hope. Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us. Cling to that truth and place your hope in Him. God keeps His promises and we’ll see his plan of redemption unfold in the next chapters as we receive prophesy after prophecy about Messiah, our Savior.
I love the words of Micah 6:8 which stand in contrast to these woes in Isaiah 5. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” These words and actions lead to life, hope and blessings from God. God wants so much more for us than the Woe’s of the world.