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Whoa…

Well, not that kind of whoa…..  Isaiah 5 talks about “woes”.   I was amazed after studying these woes how much describe today’s culture.  But there’s nothing new under the sun.   History will always repeat itself.  What we see today in society has happened before.  And the heart of mankind?  It’s always been the same.  What was happening in Isaiah’s day is happening now, and has happened in the meantime.

 

I’m going to tell you something that will revolutionize the way you view the Bible and what is says.  Ready?

 

The Bible was written to people who know God or know about Him.

 

Wow, that was simple wasn’t it?  But next time you’re reading through different scriptures, read with that mindset and you’ll be amazed.   So when you read about problems with promiscuity, greed, gossip etc etc etc, the Bible isn’t writing to people who don’t know for Jesus….. it is writing to God’s own people.   That doesn’t mean its not applicable to all mankind!  God wants ALL to hear what He has to say.   But maybe by know this we could stop judging the world and look inward?…. just a thought.

 

So these “woes”…..  First let’s just start with what on earth “woe” means.  It means doom.   How nice, eh?  Bear with me.  And remember, this is for people who know God….

 

Isaiah 5:11-12 “Doom to those who get up early and start drinking booze before breakfast.  Who stay up all hours of the night drinking themselves into a stupor.  They make sure their banquets are well furnished with harps, flutes and plenty of wine.  But they’ll have nothing to do with the work of God, pay no mind to what He’s doing.”


Remember, this is written to people who were God’s chosen people.  They knew God.  They had the whole book of Deuteronomy memorized by age 13.   They studied God’s word, they went to “church” if I may.  So what are they doing drunk before breakfast?!  (Can I confess I’ve had my nothings-going-well days where I’ve turned to hubby and jokingly ask at 4:30pm, “Is it too early for a smirnoff?….)

 

The church makes big deals about little things like that.  I’m not down-playing drunkenness but maybe the reason why we have apathetic Christians is because we take a verse like this and pound: DO NOT DRINK into people till they’re so sick of it they’re running TO the bar.  And remembering yesterday’s learnings of Generation X (my generation); that’s exactly what turns us right off.

 

Is that what this woe is about?  Being drunk?  Is God claiming doom and gloom over those who drink too much?   Yes and no.   It’s right there in scripture that God’s not thrilled with their decision, but He gets to the heart of the matter quickly after….

 

They cared more about the pleasures of life than about what He was doing.  Somewhere along the way, they forgot Him.   They traded the eternal for the temporary.  Temporary fun, parties, entertainment……   And now blinded by all this excitement, they had nothing to do with the work of God.

 

I remember when I was home for Christmas from Bible College, my friend and I hit the club.   I don’t think I ever confessed that….. sorry to any past professors reading 🙂   I wasn’t really out to “rebel”, I just wanted to dance and let loose for a night.   I’ll never forget what I saw when I walked in…… a lot of people from my youth group were there.   Even people in ministry were there, two of them drunk out of their mind holding beers up high, singing (totally off tune by the way) to the song being played.

 

I don’t know how to express what I was thinking at that moment.  I couldn’t say, “Hey, what are you doing here??”, because they would be able to look back at me and say, “Well YOU’RE here too!”.   I didn’t know how to pin-point why I was disturbed.  Was the “club” really the issue.

 

No.

 

Years later I now realize what the issue was.   All these people who were once passionate for Christ, who I witnessed dedicate their lives to His cause, were now there throwing it all away for….  pleasure.   Temporary pleasure that had no meaning.  They lost their first love.    I learned that night that many of them were calloused  by the church and wanted nothing to do with it or God.   They replaced their passion with thrills.   I wonder if they’ve discovered how “old” that gets yet?…

 

Ok, so let’s change the camera focus from them onto me.  What was I doing there?  I was looking to experience the fun I felt I was missing out on.  Through my teen years I was such a good girl, I wanted to experience it.  So was my heart in any better shape.?Not really.  I was willing to take a peek at the shallow world of self-indulgence.   I WANTED to.

 

This woe challenges Hedonism – something I noticed was on the rise from generation to generation since my grandparents time (see yesterday’s blog).   What’s hedonism?  SELF gratification, SELF indulgence, living a life of pleasure.

 

What does God promise those who live this way?  Doom.  It all ends empty with no crown to lay before His feet at eternity.  No, “Well done” from Him.  I’m not here to debate where they will spend eternity but I do know that HOW we live this life effects HOW we spend eternity.   In a flash this life will be over and “forever” awaits…… and “forever” is a long time.

 

So friends, this woe continually challenges my heart to stay focused on the decision I made 20 years ago: to BE a Christ follower.  Yes with issues and mistakes, but with the heart’s cry to follow Him till the end.  To care about the things He cares about.

 

Will you see me in the club?  That’s not the issue is it?  Where’s my heart aiming at?

 

The Temporary or the Eternal…..

 

“Somehow I feel that a rebellion is coming against cookie cutter processed church that demands nothing of no one.” (Matthew Barnett)

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