Woes to the Wicked

Isaiah 5

11,12  Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.  They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands.

18,19  Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, to those who say, "Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it."

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.

21  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

22,23  Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.

Lest we disregard such warnings as directed only to the non-religious, consider that Jesus spoke similar woes against the religious leaders of his day in Matthew 23 saying, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!" Matt 23:13,15,23,25,27,29

vs 11,12 alludes to those given to partying and carousing, such as is often found among American college campuses today. Such should not be characteristic of Christians as Peter wrote, "For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do— living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry." 1 Peter 4:3

vs 18,19 refer to those who don't simple stumble into sin, but rather  take great efforts to sin intentially drawing it to themselves to satisfy their vain and deceitful desires. They mock God daring him to bring judgment upon them and disbelieving God's sovereign plan.  Paul writes of such people, "Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."Romans 2:5

vs 20 We can add to contrasts listed in this verse the aroma of life and stench of death. "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life." 2Cor 2:15,16 And so also Paul writes, "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator." Romans 1:25  And this exchange also go so far as homosexuality. "Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones." Rom 1:26

vs 21 "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Prov 26:12 Such people cannot be taught neither by man nor by the Holy Spirit, for they presume they know it all.

vs 22,23 One again he warns those given to drinking and alcoholism, but also correlates such people with those who aquit the guilty for a bribe. For both allow the sinful passions of their flesh to dominate their behavior rather than upholding virtuous principles.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015