Isaiah will continue to show the people how they have walked away from God. They are sinning but no longer calling what they do a sin. A sin is simply anything that goes against the nature and character of God. God gets to determine what is right and wrong because He is perfect and as His creation He knows what is best for us.
Isaiah 5:22-24 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! 24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust, for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
1) Heroes in their own mind
“Heroes at drinking wine” Isaiah’s sarcasm is strong in that he is comparing them to valiant warriors but only because their claim to fame is not in being a warrior but in how much they drink. They were literally bragging about how much they were drinking as if they fought some epic battle. The people were altering their minds with alcohol and it was causing them to walk even further away from God.
The altering of our minds is something we have to be careful of because it is as we alter our minds that we can lose touch with reality. Drugs and alcohol are rampant in our country and many people, including Christians, turn to them in order to escape from reality. According to Dr. Charles Hodges a physician in Family Medicine says alcohol affects all of your brain not just certain parts like other drugs do. All drugs affect the brain but only alcohol can affect the entire brain at once. So where cocaine may affect one part and another drug another area alcohol has the ability to affect them all. The alcohol was making them not think about God and not think about others because it was numbing them to the world around them. These were people who wanted to just have the pleasure of the day to not think and not worry about anything in life. They sought their own pleasure over the service to others. Their minds were impaired and they didn’t even know it and when a person is impaired they are no longer the ones who are in control of themselves.
2 Timothy 4:5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
We may face some tough days in this life but it is a sin to escape life because of pain or simply because of pleasure by intoxicating ourselves. We need to make sure that we are turning to God and not brain numbing agents when the pains of life hit us. The pain we face today will make us stronger for the future but to try and escape it through drugs or alcohol only prolongs the inevitable of having to deal with the pain you are trying to escape from.
2) Their Minds were twisted
Acquit the guilty and deprive the innocent of their rights. This goes along with how they called evil good and good evil. Everything was getting turned upside down because of the corruption that was taking place and they were really not seeing things clearly anymore. Sin has a way of distorting our perception of reality that is very dangerous especially when we do not allow anyone to point out the sins in our lives. Like people who are pathological liars do not see that they are not telling the truth sin can corrupt us to where we no longer see what we are doing is not only wrong but hurtful to ourselves and others. We wonder sometimes how people become so twisted in their minds but the more people walk away from God the more their minds will become depraved.
Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
The verse is Romans is talking about metals that would be rejected because of their impurities in them. They were no good for anything because they would not hold up to the pressure. The More we allow impurities into our minds the more twisted our minds become and eventually it will destroy us. Paul would later tell them that their minds had to be continually renewed.
Romans 12:2] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
We have to constantly clean our minds and renew them similar to clothes that need to be washed.
You do not throw your clothes out because they get dirty you put spot remover on them and wash them. Our minds can only be renewed as we accept the word of God as true and allow our minds to be changed to Gods way of thinking. Colossians 3:2 says to “Set your minds on things above” because if we set our minds on the things of the world we will give into the worlds way of thinking.
3) Their minds were destroyed
“Their root will be as rottenness” which means they were decaying from the root and they did not realize it. Like termite damage that destroys a house you do not see it until it is too late so allowing your mind to be destroyed may not be noticed until you have already reached a point of no return. Colossians 3:5 says we have to put to death the things that are destroying us. You may not see some of your sins as destroying you but the Bible is clear that they are. (Romans 3:23) If you do not treat the termites early then you will be doing major repairs in your life. These people looked like they had spiritual lives but deep down they were dying and would eventually be destroyed. They thought they could live however they wanted without any consequences but the lives they chose to live were destroying them.
Sin is anything that goes against the nature and character of God and what God calls sin He does so because it goes against Him but also because it is what is best for His creation. The sins our world says are not sins are actually destroying the very people participating in them as well as our nation. Although people may be mad that we do not accept their sins we know that we truly love them because we care about the long term damage done to their lives when they go against the commands of God.
Hebrews 3:12-13 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
4) The Battle Begins in the Mind
“They have rejected the law and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel. “
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
The true battle for people begins in their minds with how they think and what they believe. What people believe are like fortresses or strongholds and it is very difficult to help people see that their thinking is wrong. False Religions, Works as a way to salvation and other faulty thinking will be a battle to overcome in people’s lives. We have to know the truth so that we can combat those who believe in lies. The world needs real answers because the world is doing all it can to bury their pain and turn off their minds through drugs, alcohol and even entertainment. Proverbs 15:28 says the heart of the righteous studies how to answer and the world is desperately looking for answers because the things they are being told that bring them fulfillment are leaving them empty inside their souls.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Do you turn to God’s word to have your mind renewed? Are you lazy in your study of God’s Word?
We have to be careful because many Christian Teachers are even straying from the truth of God’s word and teaching things that are not acceptable to God. The people In Isaiah’s day looked like Christians but their worship and their lifestyle were corrupt and were not accepted by God.
Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that means that what He offers is the only thing that will give people what they are truly looking for which is a relationship with God Himself.