Christians experience indignation and revulsion, and rightly so, at the evil they see expressed in the culture all around them. Evil and injustice seem rampant – society sometimes seems to be coming apart at the seams. The tragedy is some of the terrible injustice and wickedness we have seen in our world has been carried on by religious folk and professing Christians! This ought not to be! It breaks the heart of God and arouses His righteous wrath.
It’s interesting that Isaiah 5.8-23 – a passage that contains six prophetic woes – is a prophetic word spoken to people who claimed to be God’s people and prided themselves in their religious heritage! As I read it this morning during “coffee with the Lord” I felt a “beware” arise in my heart! History is filled with the sad record of self-righteous people who did not guard their hearts and live in practical obedience to God’s word, instead they slipped in to sin, were guilty of terrible oppression and practiced all kinds of wickedness… And yet, they claimed to be “Christians!” What a tragedy! This is not just an Old Testament problem!
Read the passage for yourself from a modern translation like the New Living Translation or The Message (Isaiah 5.8-23). Here’s summary of the sins that brought the “Woe to you…” from God!
- Those guilty of exploitation and greed (vss. 8-9)
- Drunkenness and indulgent lifestyles (vss. 11-17)
- Those who mock God’s authority (vss. 18-19)
- Those who reject biblical norms and instead exalt wickedness (vs. 20)
- Self-righteous arrogance and pride (vs. 21)
- Perverted justice (vss. 22-23)
Titus 2.1-10 speaks about “sound doctrine” and urges Christians to live the kind of life that “makes the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.” I want to live that way, don’t you?