One of the common mistakes we make in diagnosing current times is “how things are going.” If things are going reasonable “well” for us, we can’t see what might wrong beneath the surface, or care to explore that beneath the surface.
In the U.S., we can say, “Hey, the economy is humming along (for us saying it, of course), so what could possibly be wrong?”
Spiritually, we can say, “Look at our church! It’s growing! We bring in awesome speakers and have a great band!”
For us, all can seem “well”… and we can be blind. This is Israel’s case in Isaiah (and in many of the other prophetic books). Prophetic words calling “doom” on Israel didn’t always come in “down” economic times. They often came in GOOD economic times.
So, when Isaiah comes along preaching hypocrisy, they’re looking at him and asking, “What are you smoking?”
We, today in the American Church, are struggling. We may see verses from Isaiah and put them out there with the thought of, “Well, that’s for the OTHER part of the church!” (It can be a “liberal” Christian putting it out and digging at the “conservatives” or vice versa.)
Here is the problem: these words are for the AMERICAN church. Not just one segment. Friends, WE are in trouble… and are still struggling with spiritual blindness.
20 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.
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight. (Isa. 5:20-21, NIV)