Woe to those who drag wickedness with cords of deceit and [pull] sin along with cart ropes, to those who say: “Let Him hurry up and do His work quickly so that we can see it! Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel take place so that we can know it!” Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own opinion and clever in their own sight. Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, who are fearless at mixing beer, who acquit the guilty for a bribe and deprive the innocent of justice. Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw and as dry grass shrivels on the flame, so their roots will become like something rotten and their blossoms will blow away like dust, for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of Hosts, and they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against His people. He raised His hand against them and struck them; the mountains quaked, and their corpses were like garbage in the streets. In all this, His anger is not removed, and His hand is still raised [to strike]. He raises a signal flag for the distant nations and whistles for them from the ends of the earth. Look how quickly and swiftly they come! None of them grows weary or stumbles; no slumbers or sleeps. No belt is loose, and no sandal strap broken. Their arrows are sharpened, and all their bows strung. Their horses’ hooves are like flint; their [chariot] wheels are like a whirlwind. Their roaring is like a lion’s; they roar like young lions; they growl and seize their prey and carry [it] off, and no one can rescue [it]. On that day they will roar over it, like the roaring of the sea. When one looks at the land, there will be darkness and distress; light will be obscured by clouds. Isaiah 5:18-30 (HCSB)
This is the climax when we risk ignoring the warnings that the Lord gives us. When he spells out the gory details of the consequences if we continue to ignore the warnings it is time listen. If we continue to disobey and deceive ourselves and the people around us, we will face the dire consequences for our behavior. The “woes” are God’s repeated fair warning…though none should be necessary.
Who do you know who clings to the cords of deceit as the foundation of their lives? They spin evil as good, and dismiss good as evil! They are the same who find darkness comforting to hide their evil ways, and sleep during the light of day. They thirst for beer and wine and boast of their grand feats while under its influence. They idolize the wicked and perverse, and find fault in the righteous and innocent. However, ignorance will not be acceptable. The Lord our God desires to transform our behavior to the ways of justice and righteousness – ways pleasing to him – by whatever means are needed, even if it requires times of trials and tribulation. Israel flaunted their selfish and hedonistic ways and the Lord directed the ruthless armies of Assyria upon them and ten of the twelve tribes of Israel were conquered and exiled into literal extinction. Only a faithful remnant survived and were dispersed into foreign lands.
In our lives, if we rebel against God’s will, ways, and wisdom, challenges and conflict will be a part of our future too. Our God remains vigilant and hopeful that we will pay attention to his warnings which will cause us to woe just as the Israelites centuries ago. There are real eternal consequences for perverting truth, goodness, and justice – the unforgivable lifestyle that will not go unpunished.
God loves us and desires to do everything possible to clutch us and call us one of His own, but you and I must stop living the lie and place our faith and trust in him, because genuine love and lies cannot co-exist! Since God always knows the truth, we only end up lying to ourselves.
The only unpardonable sin is our belligerent rejection of God’s will, ways and wisdom.