Was Santayana Right…?

No matter how often you read a passage of Scripture, one learns or sees a new insight, a new warning, a new convicting truth. Today’s #QT in Isaiah 5:8-30 offered all three for me. 
FIRST, I would like to offer a brief hermeneutical overview of the structure. Now … this might sound boring but it is really important to understanding. 

In verses 8-12, we have two woes dealing with greed and obsession with gaining wealth and living with the best of life. Verse 8, in fact, could almost describe a family of three living in a 5-bedroom McMansion. “Needy baby, greedy baby.” (FYI – If you like Big Bang Theory, you will get the pun.) It is followed by two bad “therefores” that describe their punishment – exile and Sheol. And one giant WHY in verse 16-17, because the LORD will always be exalted. 

As if that was not bad enough, we have four more woes, two more therefores, and one final fury in verses 18-30. The woes center around those turn all aspects of God’s goodness into malevolence for purely carnal reasons. The therefores deal with utter destruction and the final fury is that even after being destroyed, God will allow others “to kick Israel when they are down.” 

Overkill? Not when you consider the two verses that convicted me today (v. 20-21):

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto [them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

We live in such a world today. We call someone born a man a “she” and call him heroic because he considers himself transgender. We have attempted to redefine the God-created union of man/woman marriage as something else simply because five people in black robes say so. We deny the need to share the Gospel with Jewish people because a man called Pope says so even though Scripture is clear that the Gospel is to the Jew first (Rom. 1:16) and salvation is from [and to] the Jews (John 4:22; Rom. 9:13; 10:1-4; 11:11). 

Are we not dangerously close to being under the same judgement as the Israelites were in Isaiah 5:8-30? Have we not learned from the past? Is there not time to change our trajectory? 

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ – G. Santayana


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