Woe vs. Whoa
The word woe in the ancient Hebrew, means ‘alas’ or ‘lo,’ however in today’s Bible passage we can also appreciate the overt interpretation of ‘a passionate cry of grief or despair’ as spoken by God through His prophet Isaiah — we can say without a doubt our wicked behavior grieves our Lord.
Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim.
That of course is not an excerpt from the book of Isaiah, but a quote from the character Tom Doniphon, as portrayed by John Wayne in the 1962 classic, ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.’ The quotation reminded me that although God grieves for His children, He also lovingly warns us to whoa; that is to stop those behaviors that will ultimately lead to our harm and destruction. For that reason this section of Isaiah, at its core, is a call to repentance, not just for historical Israel, but for us today.
This might be an over simplification of the six woes, but essentially we get a glimpse of the aberrant social activities that were prevalent in those days. Take note that we haven’t changed much as a society in the three thousand years since this prophesy was given.
- Piggish Capitalism: consumptive hoarding at the expense and oppression of others.
- Hedonism: the excessive pursuit of selfish and perverse pleasure, rejecting all moral values.
- Spiritual Apathy: the false notion that God doesn’t care about sin or that He winks at our sin.
- Relativism: a concept that maintains there are no absolute truths; what’s wrong for you may be right for me.
- Intellectualism: the notion that man is wiser than God; evolution of species is our prime example.
- Substance Abuse: the addiction that always follows unrestrained perversity.
God is not mocked and (it’s a promise of God), we will reap that which we sow — those who practice these things and similar will suffer greatly – ancient Israel suffered and we will also suffer. We are already feeling the birth pangs of consequence. Corporately and individually, the unrepentive have these things to look forward to:
To those who would say that our God is a condemning God, we share this hope – the God who warns is the God who also saves. He came with outstretched arms to provide our escape and His hand He has never retracted. Ours is Jesus who willingly endured the cross for all humanity, for all who would confess, repent, and believe to receive His gracious gift of salvation and submit themselves to His loving and refining authority.
- How does this relate to the United States?
- How does this relate to you individually?
- Do you see the way of escape?
- What is your prayer today?
~ ~ ~
Did you enjoy ‘He Dwells’ the blog?
Please subscribe, re-post, or click the LIKE tab.
- A Stern Warning (dawnmarie4.wordpress.com)
- The Isaiah 9:10 prophecy: Is U.S. under God’s judgment? (mybetter4you.wordpress.com)
- Face-to-Face Encounter with God (foreverword.wordpress.com)
- Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ Job 5-6 (phyllisbenigas.wordpress.com)