Watchman: Daily Devotional, Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil, Who Put Darkness for Light and Light for Darkness, Who Put Bitter for Sweet and Sweet for Bitter!

HNewsWire: It seems that, over time, our society has reached a conclusion: There is no right or wrong, good or evil. Truth is based on one’s own opinions and preferences, and it can be adapted according to certain situations. But those of us in Christ know that, without placing our faith in the absolute truth of the gospel, we will not have a solid foundation on which to stand. As long as our principles are rooted and grounded in God’s Word, we are saved from potential destruction that can be reaped from sinful lifestyles. So how can we keep our principles and values from slowly morphing into that of the world’s? And what did the prophet mean in Isaiah 5:20 when he wrote: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil”?

What Is the Context of Isaiah 5:20 and 'Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil'?

In this chapter, the prophet Isaiah is providing a warning for the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem for their sinful behavior during this time—specifically concerning their drunken indulgence. This was an evil that had spread rampant during that time, and this lifestyle was common due to a lack of both respect and fear toward God.

Since these people did not seem to live with a conscience, they did not believe that their sinful acts were evil. Their minds were so influenced by the controller of this world (Satan) that their perspective had become skewed, causing them to create unbiblical standards. These principles were so watered down that, not only did they neglect to recognize their sinful actions, but they actually viewed their behavior as good.

Doesn’t sound too far off from the times we’re living in now, don’t you think?

Let’s take a look at the verse that comes before verse 20 (Isaiah 5:19):

“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.’”

Can you sense the mockery tone in that passage? Even the way in which they addressed God as “Holy One of Israel” seems to have come from a sarcastic attitude. They continued to indulge in sin while mocking Isaiah’s prophecies—similar to the way the world continues to mock Scripture and the church today.

Verse 20 (in the NLT version) goes on to say:

“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.”

Sinners often believe they are living a life of freedom. But those of us in Christ should know the truth: It is only by abiding by God’s Word that we can find true freedom. If we adapt our morals and standards according to Scripture and walk in obedience to Christ, then we save ourselves from the “sorrow” that Isaiah prophesied about in this passage.

Furthermore, the symbols of “dark” and “light” are used consistently throughout Scripture to illustrate the contrasting differences between good and evil. In fact, Psalm 119:105 reminds us that the Bible is the “lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” If we neglect to use Scripture as our guide, then we will be like those mentioned in Proverbs 4:19: “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.”

It is only through using the Bible as our guide that we will walk the paths that we were meant to walk.

Why Should Christians Heed the Warning of This Verse?

In Christ, we are redeemed by His blood—yet this does not mean that we are immune to temptations. We are, after all, living in a world that is controlled by the enemy (see John 14:30). We must study Scripture diligently; otherwise, we may become like Adam and Eve when they were presented with a trap from the serpent. According to Genesis 2:3, he tempted them with this question: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”

In Eve’s eyes, the fruit looked good. Harmless, even.

And yet God had declared it to be wrong.

Satan still uses the same tricks and traps on mankind today. He begins by planting in our minds that sly question: “God didn’t really say that’s bad, did he?” He causes us to question Scripture and its authority in distinguishing evil from good.

Although, nowadays, this question sounds a lot like this: “God didn’t really mean for those Scriptures to apply for us today, did He?”

If we give in to the world’s influence of proclaiming evil as good and good as evil, we will enter a downward spiral of twisting the gospel, watering down its truth, mixing black with white, and ultimately living a life that is a far cry from the one God intends for us. We will then become a lukewarm Christian, as mentioned in Revelation 3:16: “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

The enemy’s goal, since the beginning of time, has been to blind eyes so that people will follow him rather than God. His desires and goals will always be in complete opposition of God’s. So it’s no wonder that he leads people into believing that good is evil and evil is good! He leads people into loving the darkness instead of the light (see John 3:20).

2 Corinthians 4:4 shows us that the enemy does this intentionally: Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”

You may argue, “I don’t need to worry about being blinded by the enemy since I am a new creation in Christ.” Keep in mind, though, that it is still possible for those who profess to be Christians to live in darkness as well:

1 John 1:6 says, “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.”

And it’s possible for this darkness to blind us:

1 John 2:11“But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.”

So how can we adhere to the warning addressed in Isaiah 5:20? By abiding by God’s Word. Then we will build a solid foundation, just like the person in this parable:

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock Matthew 7:24-25.

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