Daily D – Isaiah 5:18
Isaiah 5:18 What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart! (NLT)
Isaiah 5:20 What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. (NLT)
Some passages require no commentary.
I don’t subscribe to individual magazines or newspapers. I follow a variety of sources curated according to my preferences using the paid version of Apple News. Its monthly fee includes iTunes and other fun tools for less than the cost of one annual magazine and newspaper subscription.
Glancing at the stories from sources like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Business Insider, there are a lot of people who are either ignorant of verses like those above or dismissive of their relevance.
I find it hard to believe something that has never been true is suddenly true today.
The word the New Living Translation (NLT) and the English Standard Version (ESV) translate “sorrow” is translated by the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) and the New International Version (NIV) as “woe.” Woe is one of those words that sounds like what it means like buzz and click. A common Yiddish expression is “oy vey,” meaning “woe is me.”
Hopefully, this helps you understand the feeling of loss and hopelessness Isaiah is communicating here. He looked around at things from God’s perspective and couldn’t help but groan. If you have a heart increasingly centered upon Christ, you know the feeling.
This is not a term of anger. Instead, it is grief in all its heaviness. People choose their own identity regardless of God’s intention without considering the ultimate consequences of ruining their own lives along with the lives of others. Everyone is expected to celebrate every identity no matter how furry or infuriating.
Groan with Isaiah and God. Groan for what is going on around us. Do not, however, lose hope. As deep, dark, and dangerous as is much of Isaiah’s preaching, God gave him a view beyond that darkening season. Beyond the night lay the light, indeed, the Light of the World which was yet to come in all of his fullness.
Speak the truth in love during this age of gathering darkness about the Light of the World who is coming again sooner than we think but maybe not as soon as we would like. Keep hope alive. This story ends on a high note. Wait until you hear the Singer!
I will look beyond the night to the Light to come.
Our Father, it is dark and getting darker. You do your best work when all seems hopeless. Please, do it again. Deliver us from evil. Bless us with the Light. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”