Growing with God’s Word and Pursuing Justice and Peace
Isaiah 5:8-30: In today’s reading, a series of injustices is denounced, and the punishment that God will mete out is described.
The LORD Almighty shows his greatness by doing what is right, and he reveals his holiness by judging his people.
8You are doomed! You buy more houses and fields to add to those you already have. Soon there will be no place for anyone else to live, and you alone will live in the land.9I have heard the Lord Almighty say, “All these big, fine houses will be empty ruins.10The grapevines growing on five acres of land will yield only five gallons of wine. Ten bushels of seed will produce only one bushel of grain.”
11 You are doomed! You get up early in the morning to start drinking, and you spend long evenings getting drunk.12At your feasts you have harps and tambourines and flutes—and wine. But you don't understand what the Lord is doing,13and so you will be carried away as prisoners. Your leaders will starve to death, and the common people will die of thirst.14The world of the dead is hungry for them, and it opens its mouth wide. It gulps down the nobles of Jerusalem along with the noisy crowd of common people.
15Everyone will be disgraced, and all who are proud will be humbled.16But the Lord Almighty shows his greatness by doing what is right, and he reveals his holiness by judging his people.17In the ruins of the cities lambs will eat grass and young goats will find pasture.
18You are doomed! You are unable to break free from your sins.19You say, “Let the Lord hurry up and do what he says he will, so that we can see it. Let Israel's holy God carry out his plans; let's see what he has in mind.”
20You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness. You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter.
21You are doomed! You think you are wise, so very clever.
22You are doomed! Heroes of the wine bottle! Brave and fearless when it comes to mixing drinks!23But for just a bribe you let the guilty go free, and you keep the innocent from getting justice.24So now, just as straw and dry grass shrivel and burn in the fire, your roots will rot and your blossoms will dry up and blow away, because you have rejected what the Lord Almighty, Israel's holy God, has taught us.25The Lord is angry with his people and has stretched out his hand to punish them. The mountains will shake, and the bodies of those who die will be left in the streets like rubbish. Yet even then the Lord's anger will not be ended, but his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
26The Lord gives a signal to call for a distant nation. He whistles for them to come from the ends of the earth. And here they come, swiftly, quickly!27None of them grow tired; none of them stumble. They never doze or sleep. Not a belt is loose; not a sandal strap is broken.28Their arrows are sharp, and their bows are ready to shoot. Their horses' hoofs are as hard as flint, and their chariot wheels turn like a whirlwind.29The soldiers roar like lions that have killed an animal and are carrying it off where no one can take it away from them.
30When that day comes, they will roar over Israel as loudly as the sea. Look at this country! Darkness and distress! The light is swallowed by darkness.
How many times do the words “You are doomed” appear in today’s reading? What are your thoughts when you read these words? What injustices are denounced in verses 8-24? What will be the consequences of those acts (verses 25-30)? Can you cite examples of injustice that take place today?
God of justice, help me to sow seeds of justice this day, and open my eyes and my heart to the needs of others. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Those who speak out against the perversion of justice
Isaiah 6:1-13: God calls Isaiah to be a prophet.