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Thought for the day: Isaiah 5:8-30

Thought for the day: Isaiah 5:8-30

By J. Alec Motyer
Sept. 13, 2016

It's a pretty sobering thing to weigh up Isaiah's woes and to find them in so much evidence all round us - sobering indeed when we consider that when the Lord saw them he considered it was time to put the light out (v. 30). Possessions (v. 8) and pleasures (v. 11), a God-excluding worldview (v. 19), denial of absolute, objective moral values (v. 20), exaltation of self and its opinions (v. 21), a frivolous lifestyle (v. 22), the collapse of the judicial system (v. 23). If you see these things present and on the increase - and can you deny it? - then watch out for the tongue of fire (v. 24) and the light being switched off. Surely - are we not bound to say it? - the remaining time must be short. But, however short, or, indeed, however prolonged by a God of mercy whose patience gives time for repentance (2 Pet. 3:8-9), Jesus' way contradicts the way of the world, and the urgency of the times summons us to show the difference.

1) Jesus and possessions and pleasures: Matthew 6:19-21, 25-34.

2) Seeing God in everything: creation (Ps. 95:3-5; Isa 40:12); events (Isa 40:23-24; 45:7); it is he who determines our experiences (1 Cor. 10:13), sends our blessings (James 1:17-18).

3) The Bible reveals God's 'truth unchanged, unchanging', including his moral values (Ps. 119:8,9). The world feels free to make up the rules as it goes along (v. 20a) and to consider that one man's meat is another man's poison (v. 20b). Not so with the Word of God (Isa. 40:8).

4) The proper administration of justice, exactness in sentencing, making the punishment match the crime, is God's recipe for a sound and purged society (Deut. 19:18-21).

Our holiness is our primary environmental contribution - for was it not when sin entered that the environment corrupted (Gen. 3:17 -19)? And our holiness is our primary social testimony (Matt. 5:13-14).

By J. Alec Motyer on Isaiah By The Day: A New Devotional Translation Christian Focus Publications, Scotland, UK By permission of the Author. Dr. Motyer was a renowned Old Testament pastor-scholar who recently passed away at the age of 91.

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