In the book of Isaiah, several chapters stand out in my
memory. One of them is chapter five. Here are a few verses from it. It is God’s
rebuke to Israel, 700 years before Jesus’ time on earth.

“Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,
    and wickedness as with cart ropes,
 to those who say, ‘Let God hurry;
    let him hasten his work
    so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One of Israel—
    let it approach, let it come into view,
    so we may know it.’

 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.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
    and clever in their own sight.

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
    and champions at mixing drinks,
 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    but deny justice to the innocent.”

(Isaiah 5:18-23)

These verses apply to the United States today. Verses 24 and
25 describe the judgment of Israel because of their sins:

as tongues of fire lick up straw

    and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,

so their
roots will decay

    and their flowers blow away like dust;

for they
have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty

    and spurned the word of the Holy One of

the Lord’s anger burns against his people;

    his hand is raised and he strikes them

mountains shake,

    and the dead bodies are like refuse in the

This post coordinates with today’s reading in the To
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