Sunday, March 5, 2017
Are We Any Better?
Isaiah's Song of the Vineyard (Isaiah 5) is a lovely poem expressing God's loving treatment of his people (the vineyard) and yet the vineyard produces wild grapes (sin and rebellion). The message becomes a prophecy of punishment for a people who have turned from God.*
This passage from the middle of the song which pronounces woes upon the wicked was certainly intended for the leaders in the Judah of Isaiah's day, yet might it not be instructive for us yet today?
"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!
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine,
and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
which justify the wicked for reward,
and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" (vv. 20-23)
Incidentally one of my favorite passages in the song appear in verse eight:
"Woe unto them that join house to house,
that lay field to field, till there be no place,
that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!"
Crowded populations, no place to find solitude. Sound familiar?
Grammarian at work: "a people that is" vs. "a people who are." There is some history at work here and a choice has to be made. My first draft used the first form, the final draft the second.