“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! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21 NKJV)
Isaiah lists a series of woes in this passage, and the central point of all those woes is found in verse 20. Whenever a society goes downhill, we see the truth of all these verses, but especially verses 20 and 21 as a description of the spiritual and social condition of society. People think that they’re so smart, that what they do is wise and right. People take God’s rules for living and laugh at them because they have a “better way” only to find out that their path leads to destruction. Sadly, most, when they recognize it, will refuse to admit it and go back to the foundations of the society in God’s word that they came from, and soon that nation, that society, that people disappears as a force for good. Too often those promoting those changes couch their views in a cloak they call freedom, not realizing that this “freedom” that leads them away from God’s principles becomes the shackles of sin that enslave them.
As I look at our world today, this verse comes to mind more and more often. Economic systems become infested with greed and rather than being able to use any wealth given by God to care for others, those at the top accumulate it for their own luxury. We’ve used people who are then abused and looked down upon because of their financial status, their abilities – or lack thereof, or even their physical appearance. We’ve changed the joy of strong personal relationships into one night stands or islands of pleasure to be discarded when the fun runs out. The key to restoring any society begins with returning to our own relationship with God and living in obedience to Him. What does God want? Well, at the risk of appearing to be wise in my own eyes, I dealt with Isaiah’s solution a couple of days ago. Let’s start out, though, by seeking a restored relationship with God, and then showing love and respect to all people. As we do that, we draw them back into God’s love and grace.
Lord, woe to our world that calls good evil and evil good. Woe is me that I have joined in with that sin. Forgive me. Restore my relationship with You. Then use me to help others experience Your love and grace also.