Cover to Cover
How would you like it if your pastor said this to you, “O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless church members! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you?” This is what Paul wrote to the Galatians. As we read through Apostle Paul’s writings, we often see where he is continually trying to keep his church family on track. When they get off track, it could happen because a thought was planted in their head, planted by the enemy, the voice of someone else, or their own reasonings. It started as a seed, a thought that was error, negative, doubting, critical, condemning. If not corrected, that thought develops roots, grows, and before long, we see the nasty fruit that came from some bad seed. To guard ourselves from being deceived, let’s stay humble, keep our thoughts lined up with the Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit, continue to listen to our pastor, not tolerate arrogant criticisms, and guard against hearsay. Surrendering to God is far greater than being controlled by wrong thoughts, wrong teaching, and the wrong leaders. Guard your freedom!
Woe! This word is used over one hundred times in the Bible. When someone says, “woe” they are declaring a condition of deep suffering, affliction, grief, ruinous trouble, calamity. The reason why a prophet would declare a woe over someone is because of the sin and rebellion of the person(s) against God will cause trouble and sorrow from living outside of God’s life. God doesn’t want people to experience woes, but woes are what we have when we refuse to position ourselves under God’s loving authority.
There are six woes in Isaiah 5 in verses 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22. I want to highlight two of them. One is for those who have rejected God’s Word as a standard and begin calling good as evil and evil as good, creating their own standard. Another woe is for the arrogant person who feels they are wise in their own eyes instead of searching for God’s wisdom, instead of submitting themselves to God and the leadership He has established. We see both of these sins very prevalent in our world today. Both bring sorrow. Know this – God doesn’t stop in chapter 5, giving out woes and calling it a day. This is why reading through the Bible is important, because we need to get the whole picture and the heart of our Father. As we read through Isaiah, you will see that God is for His people and for us. He prophesies of a coming redeemer that will remove the sin problem and offer us His help in our daily surrender to life and godliness. If you are feeling the sorrow of sin, turn to God and surrender. He will gladly show you mercy and exchange your sorrow for His joy.