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PUTTING DARK FOR LIGHT

March 6, 2015

 

 

 

 

Text:  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, and put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet  and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

Isaiah expresses concern for changes going on in the society of Judah, changes that break down morals and, we may suppose, devalue the righteousness of people. Such erosion in the beliefs of people often is carried out over a lengthy era. Evil is patient. Satan knows that the creeping rate of growing sin and disobedience to God can, left to its self and unchallenged, alters men’s beliefs and brings about  societal decay. Apostasy will edge out sound doctrine an inch at a time if it is not confronted and controlled.

So the prophet lays out for us a bold caution against the evils of exchange of righteousness for unrighteousness. In Isaiah 5 we find a  long list of things that are opposites. Each pair are being twisted to mean something else. Isaiah expresses fury that evil men change evil into good. They insist that there is no authority to back up justice and righteousness.

God has given man a divine set of laws of right and wrong. He has been insistent that man follow them as he has framed them. Those laws are expressed in words; words that God never meant for man to alter. But men, being the persistent  sinners that they are, have squirmed and whined and lied to justify their sins. Our society has taken Satan’s  bait and run roughshod over God’s laws. But God revealed what he really expects of man’s obedience.  “You shall not add to the word that I command you nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2 

God is taking the Israelites from Egypt and making them a nation, a people uniquely his own. Deuteronomy  7:6-11  He gives them the land of Canaan and his laws. He raises them from rag-tag rebels and makes them respectable citizens with laws and structure. Why does God want them to abide strictly in obedience to the laws he gives? God knows that when the laws are broken, ignored, or altered society becomes disoriented and confused.  This confusion is easily discernible by its unrighteous fruit: unpunished crime, easy divorce, children born out of wedlock, couples “living together” without marriage.

When Satan stirs men to change laws so divorce is easily obtained, family breakup occurs and people have less respect for the home that anchors society. When purity is ridiculed then character is eroded. When justice is twisted then righteousness is soiled and belittled. Citizens begin to abandon civilized behavior and embrace the lewd and lascivious. Goodness, purity, and honor, etc, are slowly forgotten and replaced with depraved actions and hearts. Where do you think our society is in this panorama? Eroding at a rapidly increasing speed.

If things are to be re-righted there must be a return to two great principles: renewed faith in an eternal God of righteousness and truth, and a determination to believe in the eternal standard of God’s word.

Listen to God’s declaration of himself. “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”  Malachi 3:6  The Lord insists that because he is an everlasting person the Judahites will receive his protection.  Satan’s minions can offer pleasure and riches, but only God’s heralds  of righteousness can offer eternal life.  We  must unswervingly serve an everlasting God who is so wise as to provide his word for all men to believe and obey.

Likewise, hear Jesus affirms the eternity of his word. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words  will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35  Every generation from the time Jesus uttered these words is under the authority of the eternal word of God. Men must subject themselves  to that word if they would please God and be blessed eternally. Again, we must faithfully obey God’s word which he has given us by the inspiration of the prophets. 

“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” Psalms 119: 89

 

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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