Daily email Number 386 – from the Vicar

Our passage today is Isaiah Chapter 5 verses 8-30, quite a long passage, so I suggest that you read it or listen to it on the BibleGateway or other Bible app quite quickly.
I have said already that there are 2 key theme words in the whole Book of Isaiah, and they are judgement and hope.  However, in these early chapters there is much concentration on judgement as the Lord through Isaiah outlines in detail and then repeats how rebellious, and therefore what a mess God’s people at the time are in.
So in this passage hopefully you will notice that there are 6 “Woe to you…” statements in vs.8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22 which describe the sins of God’s people, which might be described as personal greed, personal pleasure at the expense of honouring the Lord, deceitful ways, a wrong way of thinking when it comes to good and evil, personal vanity, and personal pleasure at the expense of others. It is a devastating list, and the result outlined in v.24 onwards is judgment from the Lord, and also through other nations being allowed in God’s purposes to come and destroy Israel and Judah, and take them off into exile.
All this is a long time ago, and it is easy to apply these woe statements to the secular leadership in our culture today where the prevailing values are very much against God’s values contained in His Word e.g. a culture that is dependent on alcohol, or a culture where things that were once thought to be evil are now called good.
However, it is interesting that Jesus uses the same word “woe” in the Sermon on the level place with 4 woes (Luke Ch.6 vs.24-26), and in what seems like teaching in Jerusalem in the week leading up to His crucifixion, Jesus speaks out 7 woes to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees as recorded in Matthew Ch.23, i.e. those people who were meant to be leading God’s people at the time.
So before we start blaming other people down the ages or all around us for their faults, it would seem right that we first examine ourselves, which is what Isaiah himself sort of does, as we shall see tomorrow.

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