Isaiah 5:18-20 Testing God

Isaiah has begun his warnings about what they were doing and the consequences that would follow. The seeking of wealth and pleasure would not satisfy them and Isaiah warned them that they would eventually be broke and alone because of the things they were pursuing besides God. Many wealthy people have found that the money they sought for happiness has led them to be alienated from people. When we seek after the things of the world instead of God then we will find that the things of this world were for us to enjoy but not to bring us the ultimate satisfaction which can only come from God.

Isaiah will continue his warnings and a warning is just that it is to show you that there is possible danger ahead if you are not careful. Instead of listening to the warning the people instead begin to mock and put God to the test. The People in Isaiah’s day were testing God and we will see how they were pushing their limits with God which would eventually bring severe consequences and God’s judgment.

Isaiah 5:18-20 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, who say: “Let him be quick, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!”  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!

1)   Testing God with Sin

“Draw sin along with ropes “was an expression because the people were attaching themselves to sin and they were not worried about the consequences of it. The idea that Isaiah was portraying was the idea of dragging Idols by ropes along the road in parades for the entire community to see. Their sins were no longer hidden and private. The people were deceived and did not realize the burden of the weight of sin that was on their lives and the long term affects it would have on their lives. We live in similar times where the things that used to be taboo to talk about are not bragged about and even encouraged to participate in.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Isaiah already warned the people about the weight of Wealth and pleasure which were not bad things or even sins when kept in proper perspective but are things that can distract them from the priority of seeking the Kingdom of God first. (Matthew 6:33)  The second part of Hebrews 12:1 is talking about sin that like a vine will attach itself to you and cling to you and eventually choke you out and destroy you. Sin is fun for a time but the reality is the sins that you think you control will eventually cling to you and be difficult for you to break away from. What was worse is the people did not care anymore and attached themselves willingly not caring about the end result of their decision but only living for today. They could no longer see that their sin was destroying themselves and their sins were going to bring judgment from God. When you do not care what God thinks about your actions and especially the sins in your life then you are testing Him and will eventually face the consequences of your rebellion.

2)   Testing God with Mocking

“Let Him speed His work so we may see it “is how bold they became toward God even telling Him to show Himself so that they could believe in Him. The attitude was that if God existed let Him show Himself because if He doesn’t then there is no one to tell us that what we are doing is wrong.  One of the consequences of sin is it distorts our view of God and reality. Studies have shown that the more people give into sexual sin the more their brains become warped by the behavior they are engaging in.

If there is no God then there is no right and wrong and if there is no right and wrong then there is no one who can tell us that anything we do is wrong or is unacceptable behavior. Atheists have a dilemma on their hands because they have no grounds to call anything evil and in fact evil does not exist if there is no God.

2 Peter 3:3-4 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

The verse in 2 Peter is parallel to the verse in Isaiah 5 because the people were following their own sinful desires instead of trusting in the ways of God. God who is our creator and knows what is best for us has established rules not to harm us but for our own good. When we go outside of those guidelines because we do not trust Him then we find ourselves in destructive patterns of this world. Although many people will say that they want to live life with no regrets the reality is that many people have regrets because of the things they have done that go outside of the will of God.

People have always begun to Mock God because He did not show Himself the way that they thought He should. God made Himself known through Nature, (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19-23), through our own Conscience (Romans 2:14-16), through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-2) and through the Bible (John 20:30-31). It is not that God has not made Himself known it is because they suppress the truth (Romans 1) so that they can live their own lives. The major sin we tend to commit is wanting to be god of our own lives. We do not want anyone telling us how to live or what is best for us. God loves us and He has made Himself known and He has also made known how we best function as His creation but many people continue to deny the ways of God.

Anytime you deny the presence of God or the law of God you mock Him even those who say they believe in Him. Do you trust the ways of God? Do you believe He exist and that He loves you? Do you believe because of that love He knows what is best for His creation? Many studies are coming out that show that people living for themselves and doing whatever they want has led them toward unhappier lives and even toward depression.

Christianity is not just about having a better life on this earth  although the ways of God if followed by non-believers in Christ will still benefit them. We are not just about our best life now but about eternity. We all will leave this earth no matter the morals and religious practices we have chosen to follow. Death has entered our world (Romans 5:12) and because of that Jesus Christ had to die for our sins in order for us to be reconciled to God. (Romans 5:10) It is as we accept the free gift of salvation which is not by our works of righteousness or trying to be good but by what Jesus did for us on the cross (Ephesians2:8-9) that we can be reconciled to God. (John 3:16-17) Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and if He is not the way or only one of the ways as some say then Jesus was a liar. Do you believe Jesus is a good teacher but not the only way to Heaven? Then He was not a good teacher because He claimed to be the only way to God. Although you may think you are a good person you do not have what it takes to get to heaven because all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23) and therefore we are separated from God because He is Holy and without flaw. The only way we can be back in a right relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 says to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. You believe that He took your sins and paid for them so that you will not have to and that through His death you are put back in a right relationship with God. You do not earn your salvation by anything you can do you just accept it by faith in the historical person name Jesus who was God in the flesh.


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