Another tragic act of violence took place just outside our nation’s capitol by a political zealot at a Congressional baseball practice. We are living in a world where fallen men through the influence of evil and dark forces commit these senseless acts. Our nation needs the help of God. America, as a whole, needs to turn back to God from its spiritual decline. Through the prophet Isaiah, we get a look at a nation that has gone aside from God’s purposes for them. The Bible tells us that, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
When a nation departs from righteousness, their disobedience opens the door for evil and darkness to prevail like it did in Isaiah’s day concerning Judah and Israel (Isaiah chapters 1-12) If the leaders of a nation aren’t righteous they become like a diseased river with bad water in them and will only make the land more barren (2 Kings 2:19-22). When a people or a nation’s heart departs from seeking the Lord and His ways, moral ruin and chaos is inevitable. God’s purpose for the nations is for all men who dwell on the face of the earth to seek the Lord (Acts 16:26, 27).
Israel was a covenant nation started by God and entrusted with many things (Romans 9:4) they were to take to the nations. Everything that applied to them doesn’t apply to every nation but things were written about them for our warning and admonition. There are moral laws and principles, like sowing and reaping, which do apply to all nations.
Look at some of the nation’s problems due to their disobedience:
1:7 Cities burned with fire.
1:7 Land overthrown with strangers/foreigners.
1:11 Religious services in vain‑‑a “going through the motions.”
1:15 Prayers not being answered.
2:6 Life being lived without God.
3:1 Shortage of food and basic provision.
3:4 Shortage of mighty men to provide spiritual, political, social leadership.
3:5 Great social oppression.
3:5 Arrogant youth with no respect for the older or authority.
3:12 Women taking the lead because those who should have been able to lead were not equipped to do so (Isaiah 51:18, 20).
In Isaiah 5 the prophet Isaiah describes Israel as His vineyard that He planted to bring forth grapes but instead it brought forth wild grapes. He then gives six “woes” and names the sins that brought judgment on the land. A woe is “a wailing or lamentation.” It can be a “woe of grief, sorrow or of threatening.”
- Isaiah 5:8‑‑First Woe: MATERIALISM
Never contented with basic necessities; continual desire for more; people motivated by temporal gain; ultimate goal in life was to live alone in the earth. Live a life of indulging oneself and just “leave me alone.” It shows their selfishness of wanting to escape the burdens/cares of others and to be far away from the demands and realities of life.
- Isaiah 5:11‑‑Second Woe: LOVERS OF PLEASURES
They were a pleasure‑seeking society. They had no time to seek God. Lived only to please themselves for the here and now. This same pursuit of pleasure drains the modern‑day church. They have time for playing,
movies, sports, recreation, videos, vacations and exercise but no time to pray, study, attend church or work
- Isaiah 5:18‑‑Third Woe: OPEN REBELLION
They don’t even attempt to hide their sin. They have no sense of shame. Like in Jeremiah’s day, sin became so openly practiced and tolerated, the society grew accustomed to the darkness and there were no more red faces, no more blushing (Jeremiah 2:26; 6:15; 8:12).
- Isaiah 5:20‑‑Fourth Woe: DISTORTED VALUES
Their repeated disobedience has caused their sense of right/wrong to be twisted. We have save: the whale, ozone, ice at the poles and other environmental issues; but what about unborn babies? We substitute mob rule for the rule of law, big government for self government, and debt for real wealth.
- Isaiah 5:21‑‑Fifth Woe: PRIDE AND ARROGANCE
Unable to see their condition, their pride says, “We have answers for everything. Let’s just return to that
American pioneering spirit of ingenuity/creativity that made us great. We know what is best for everyone; the people aren’t smart enough to decide for themselves.”
- Isaiah 5:23‑‑Sixth Woe: PERVERTED JUSTICE
This is a characteristic of a society that’s forsaken God. Greed, corruption, personal gain becomes an accepted way of life. Laws become framed that take away the rights of the innocent and victim. Their thought is, “Whatever is legal is moral”, but whatever is legal is NOT moral.
I think there could be a warning in all this for America. I also believe that there is nothing that is wrong in America that getting right with God couldn’t fix. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land 2 Chronicles 7:14.”