Isaiah: A Song of Woe: Woe #4.

20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

The LORD’s first woe against the Nation of Judah in the 8th century B.C. was materialism. The second woe was directed towards drunkenness and devotion to pleasure while concurrently the people neglected the LORD’s work of judgment and redemption. The third woe was against those who ridiculed and mock the LORD and His people; especially His prophet, Isaiah.

The fourth woe concerns the reversal of morality. It is when a culture calls good evil and evil good. It is when moral darkness is preferred than moral light. It is when bitter is called sweet and sweet is called bitter. It is when people pride themselves in their wisdom and shrewdness and reject God’s wisdom. It is when all moral and biblical distinctions are reversed resulting in confusion and chaos.

The Apostle spoke of this in Romans 1:18-32. It is for such things that the wrath of God is coming.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

John Calvin writes, “The Lord particularly reproves the insolence of those who endeavor to overthrow all distinction between good and evil.”

 There is only one remedy for a culture spiraling ever downward in a morass of immorality: repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Nothing else will correct a culture which has become morally corrupt.

Soli deo Gloria!




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