e martë, 11 shtator 2007

Isaiah 5:8-14

Passage: Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land. The Lord Almighty has declared in my hearing: "Surely the great houses will become desolate, the fine mansions left without occupants. A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine, a homer of seed only an ephah of grain."

Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of His hands. Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; their men of rank will die of hunger and their masses will be parched with thirst. Therefore the grave enlarges its appetite and opens its mouth without limit; into it will descend their nobles and masses with all their brawlers and revelers.

Journal: Isaiah 5:8-23 lists six categories of sins continually committed by Judah; that is, the rotten fruit being produced by the corrupted vine. Today's passage reveals the first two -- 1) the sin of greed; and 2) the sin of revelry.

The sin of greed is portrayed by the affluent owning house after house, and field after field. The sin of greed seems to be where the rivers of pride and lust come together to form one body of water. Our house sits on a modest tract of land - about 8 acres. I know little to nothing about the farmer that grew cotton on the tract just a few years ago. I know nothing about the person that owned it before him or before him. Not only that, it no doubt existed for thousands of years as an uninhabited refuge for wildlife. The ownership I feel when I look out my front door is truly fleeting and will be soon forgotten, as I become one of those former land owners that no one knows about. I need to realize that it is God's land and I am His temporary manager, an "alien and a tenant," and a "stranger on earth." (Lev. 25:23; Heb 11:13; and 1 Peter 2:11)

The sin of revelry is familiar enough and breeds a constant strand of warning throughout the Bible. Fallen man, steeped in depravity, is inclined toward sin even when thinking clearly. The delusional man, staggering around in his quest for pleasure, is no match for his natural thirst for sin and will be overpowered by it. He will attempt to quench it over and over again, and cannot seek God's glory while seeking satisfaction that is readily available and fleetingly pleasurable. The dynamic of group wantonness and revelry, a collection of people progressing together in the pursuit of sin, is Satan's preferred environment. The choice often becomes one of inclusion -- will you include yourself with those seeking self and pleasure, or will you include yourself with those seeking God's glory and pleasure. One pleasure is intense, fleeting and worthless. The other pleasure is sustaining, permanent and priceless. Yet natural man, in his blindness, will always pursue that which is destructive. "Therefore the grave enlarges its appetite and opens its mouth without limit; into it will descend their nobles and masses with all their brawlers and revelers."

Heard 'Round the House: Anna (age 7) is attempting to convince Daddy and Mommy that she is a Christian. While we are extremely grateful that God is doing a marvelous work in her heart, we are not going to rush His great work and are bringing things along slowly. Besides, whether or not we are convinced doesn't matter anyway. God will complete His work in His perfect timing. Yet, as you might imagine, the "approval" of Daddy and Mommy is very important to Anna. Therefore, yesterday morning Anna took this approach --
Anna (to me): Good morning Daddy and Brother.
Anna (to Jill): Good morning Mommy and Sister.
Anna (to me): Do you want to know why I am calling you Daddy and Brother? It is because I am a Christian. (She then scooted off rather triumphantly).