So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst. The grave is licking its lips in anticipation, opening its mouth wide. The great and the lowly and all the drunken mob will be swallowed up. Humanity will be destroyed, and people brought down; even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation.
But the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be exalted by his justice. The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness. In that day lambs will find good pastures, and fattened sheep and young goats will feed among the ruins. What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
They even mock God and say, “Hurry up and do something! We want to see what you can do. Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan, for we want to know what it is.” What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
In Isaiah 5:8-24, God condemns six sins: (1) exploiting others (5:8-10); (2) drunkenness (5:11-12); (3) taking sarcastic pride in sin (5:18-19); (4) confusing moral standards (5:20); (5) being conceited (5:21); (6) perverting justice (5:22-24). Because of these sins, God punished Israel with destruction by Assyria (Isaiah 5:25-30). A similar fate was awaiting Judah if they didn’t turn from these sins.
When people do not carefully observe the distinction between good and evil, destruction soon follows. It is easy for people to say, “No one can decide for anyone else what is really right or wrong.” They may think getting drunk can’t hurt them, extramarital sex isn’t really wrong, or money doesn’t control them. But when we make excuses for our actions, we break down the distinction between right and wrong. If we do not take God’s Word, the Bible, as our standard, soon all moral choices will appear fuzzy. Without God, we are headed for a breakdown and much suffering.
If you haven’t done so already, consider writing a brief statement of faith. Having a short testimony can help you be prepared for anyone who asks you to give a reason for the way you live (see 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2-5).