CALLING WHAT IS EVIL GOOD , AND WHAT IS GOOD EVIL EVIL

bible

Isaiah 5:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

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!

We often quote verse the verse above, but we rarely consider it in context.  Let’s do that. The following is a relatively literal translation.  If you have trouble with it try this version, Isaiah 5:8-30 Good News Translation (GNT).

Isaiah 5:8-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

Impending Judgment on Excesses

Woe to those who join house to house;
They add field to field,
Till there is no place
Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!
In my hearing the Lord of hosts said,
“Truly, many houses shall be desolate,
Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,
And a homer of seed shall yield one ephah.”

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
That they may follow intoxicating drink;
Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
12 The harp and the strings,
The tambourine and flute,
And wine are in their feasts;
But they do not regard the work of the Lord,
Nor consider the operation of His hands.

13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity,
Because they have no knowledge;
Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself
And opened its mouth beyond measure;
Their glory and their multitude and their pomp,
And he who is jubilant, shall descend into it.
15 People shall be brought down,
Each man shall be humbled,
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.
16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.
17 Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture,
And in the waste places of the fat ones strangers shall eat.

18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope;
19 That say, “Let Him make speed and hasten His work,
That we may see it;
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come,
That we may know it.

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 prudent in their own sight!

22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!

24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against His people;
He has stretched out His hand against them
And stricken them,
And the hills trembled.
Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

26 He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar,
And will whistle to them from the end of the earth;
Surely they shall come with speed, swiftly.
27 No one will be weary or stumble among them,
No one will slumber or sleep;
Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed,
Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;
28 Whose arrows are sharp,
And all their bows bent;
Their horses’ hooves will seem like flint,
And their wheels like a whirlwind.
29 Their roaring will be like a lion,
They will roar like young lions;
Yes, they will roar
And lay hold of the prey;
They will carry it away safely,
And no one will deliver.
30 In that day they will roar against them
Like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks to the land,
Behold, darkness and sorrow;
And the light is darkened by the clouds.

God did not punish the people of Israel just because they sinned. He punished them because worshiped wealth and pleasure; they committed every kind of  sin, and they felt no need to repent. They refused to see the wrong in what they did. They greedily acquired property. They ate and drank to excess. The accepted bribes. And they paid God no attention. Instead, they did what was right in their own eyes.

Too many had allowed their consciences to become evil. In The Human Conscience Series, Rob Barkman includes this post “The Four Types Of Consciences. The kind of conscience defines as evil calls evil good, and good evil.  Even though our Creator hates sin, a man with an evil conscience does not take sin seriously.

post includes these three sections.

  • The Characteristics Of An Evil Conscience.
  • The Cure For An Evil Conscience.
  • Do We Have An Evil Conscience?

Think about that question: do we have an evil conscience? Ask yourself: do I have an evil conscience?

It is a matter of pride. Instead of admitting our sins and repenting, we try to justify ourselves. We say: I am a good person. Yet none of us are. That’s why repentance begins with humility. We must admit we need God.

5 thoughts on “CALLING WHAT IS EVIL GOOD , AND WHAT IS GOOD EVIL EVIL

  1. Tom,

    Very very well explained. I appreciate your looking at the context the refusal to acknowledge the sinful excesses taking place certainly does remind us of what is taking place all around us. May the Lord show our nation mercy and grace in such a time as this.

    Thanks so much for the reblog and your blog. It is a blessing to us all.

    Like

Comments are closed.

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