Our next reading is Isaiah 5:18-23
v18: Woe: How awful it will be if there is no change.
- Draw iniquity with cords of vanity (futility): These people are pulling sin towards themselves with ropes of vanity. When things are done in vanity or futility then it means that there is no positive or pleasing outcome from it.
- Cart rope: This would be a very thick, very strong, rope. Those who believe that their businesses can thrive and prosper through deceit, iniquity and sin are going to find that all those things are futile.
v19: Some interpret this verse to say that these people are mocking. They are scoffing and mocking G-d’s judgment as they do not believe it is really going to happen, because G-d has held it off for so long (2 Peter 3:3-9).
v20: Evil: That which is not G-d’s will.
- Good: That which is according to G-d’s will.
Note: These people do not have the right perspective. They have a different definition to G-d as to what is right and what is wrong, what is good or what is bad. When G-d says one thing, they say the opposite. This kind of behaviour and thinking is going to be very characteristic, manifested in a very prevalent way, in the last days (Romans 1).
v21: Wise in their own eyes: From their own perspective they think they are exceedingly intelligent. How awful it is going to be for those who are dependent upon their own revelation. We can never make wise and right decisions in our lives if we are not basing our decisions on G-d’s revelation.
v22: (Mighty) men: They are called to be a blessing to others.
- Drinking wine… mixing intoxicating drink: Instead of being a blessing to others, instead of being committed to and working for the things of G-d, these men are sitting at leisure and taking their own pleasure. This all speaks about a rejection of the things of G-d. When alcohol is mentioned in the Scripture, more often than not, it is alluding to an escape from reality.
v23: Note: This verse speaks of corruption. The prophecy of Isaiah gives us a lens, a proper perspective, for seeing what the end days are going to be like. One of the characteristics of the last days is the rapid acceleration of corruption (see 2 Tim 3:1-9)
- Justify the wicked: They call wickedness righteousness.
- Take away justice from the righteous man: Instead of punishing the wicked ones they reward them. To add to that, they want to remove the righteousness of righteous individuals from them.