He describes people who work at sin. They don’t fall into it; they pull it to themselves like a team of horses pulls a load. They do it, in spite of, the conviction of their own consciences and God’s faithfulness to warn and correct them. In so doing, they pull God’s judgments onto their own heads.
He describes their sin by saying they “call evil good, and good evil.” Yet, in spite of God’s strong warnings against it, we have decided to call homosexuality another lifestyle option and abortion just a choice. We justify the wicked for a bribe and call it politics and call anyone who speaks up for the truth intolerant.
Isaiah 5 & 6
1 Corinthians 15.29-58
Pulling Sin & Judgment with a Cord
Isaiah 5 & 6:
Working Hard to Sin
Even though these passages are specifically about the nation of Israel, there is much universal truth contained in them. Look at verse 18:
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope.
Matthew Henry had this to say:
Here are [s]ins described which will bring judgments upon a people: and this perhaps is not only a charge drawn up against the men of Judah who lived at that time, and the particular articles of that charge, though it may relate primarily to them, but is rather intended for warning to all people, in all ages, to take heed of these sins, as destructive both to particular persons and to communities, and exposing men to God’s wrath and his righteous judgments.
He goes on to describe their behavior:
Who are eagerly set upon sin, and violent in their sinful pursuits (Isaiah 5:18), who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, who take as much pains to sin as the cattle do that draw a team, who put themselves to the stretch for the gratifying of their inordinate appetites, and, to humour a base lust, offer violence to nature itself. They think themselves as sure of compassing their wicked project as if they were pulling it towards them with strong cart-ropes … in spite of the oppositions of Providence and the checks of conscience. Some by sin understand the punishment of sin: they pull God’s judgments upon their own heads as it were, with cart-ropes.
These are people who work at sin. They don’t fall into it; they pull it to themselves like a team of horses pulls a load. They do it, in spite of, the conviction of their own consciences and God’s faithfulness to warn and correct them (Providence). In so doing, they pull God’s judgments on their own heads.
I commented on some of this yesterday, but think about our nation as you read the following verses 5.20-24:
20 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!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
We call evil (abortion, homosexuality, etc.) good.
We call speaking up for the truth about those and other subjects “intolerant” and evil.
We put forth darkness (all kinds of sin and immorality) as being “enlightened”—intellectual.
We rail against the backward narrow-minded Christians who supposedly want to “impose” their views on everyone.
We justify the wicked for a bribe and call it politics.
We take away the justice from the righteous man.
Then we are outraged when the flame of a bad economy consumes our retirement plans and our stock portfolios and our jobs disappear like blossoms gone by and turned to dust.
We want to blame past presidential administrations, immigrants, the middle class, the rich, the poor, or corporate America. But the real problem is we “have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel”!
Today’s Other Readings:
Behind the Scenes
As this psalm continues to recount the history of the nation of Israel, we’re reminded of God’s sovereign control, although He is often working behind the scenes through the forces of nature and even using sinful men to fulfill His purposes.
As we read passages like our Old Testament reading and contemplate the condition of our nation and the coming end of the age, let’s not forget yesterday’s reading from Isaiah 3. Let’s remember that God has promised to hide the righteous in the day of His anger and so not get weary in doing what is right (Gal. 6.9).
Upside Down World
Verse 29, “Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”
I heard someone call God’s world “upside down world.” Instead of doing to others as they have done to us, we are to treat others the way we would want to be treated (Matt. 7.12; Lk. 6.31]).
1 Corinthians 15.29-58:
Won’t it be grand!
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
As one song writer said, “Won’t it be grand!”
In the next few days, we’ll talk about modern-day witchcraft, preparing to live in a hostile culture, reasons the world hates us and more.
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