The world of the dead is hungry for them, and it opens its mouth wide. It gulps down the nobles of Jerusalem along with the noisy crowd of common people. Everyone will be disgraced, and all who are proud will be humbled. But the Lord Almighty shows his greatness by doing what is right, and reveals his holiness by judging his people. (verses 14-16)
Read Isaiah 5:8-17
One does not have to look far to find examples of evil in the world today. More frequently than we wish, we read about assaults on innocent victims, vulnerable people being terrorised, substance abuse, political abuse. Although events like these make the headlines of our daily news, sadly they are not new.
In today’s reading Isaiah paints a picture of the evil of humankind, a picture that has been reproduced thousands of times since then. It is into this context that Isaiah preaches his message from God: ‘You are doomed’. It is time for the Law of God to be preached in its full force. But what is the purpose of the Law? To show people their sin and their need for a saviour.
While this passage points to a holy God who despises sin, it also points to a God who will not give up on his people despite their sin. For the book of Isaiah is a book of hope, and scattered throughout it are promises about the Saviour who will come to rescue people from the snares of sin. When you feel trapped in these snares, look to Jesus, the fulfilment of these promises.
God, remind me that you are a holy God who despises sin. You have taken from me the guilt of my sin through the life and death of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
by Anne Maczkowiack in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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