Thursday, June 10, 2010
Today’s Topic: Danger! Danger!
Today’s Text: Woe to you…Woe to you…Woe to you…Woe to you…Woe to you…Woe to you…
(Isaiah 5:8, 11, 18, 21, 21, 22)
With arms flailing in the air and lights flashing brilliantly from his head and chest, he would roll into view from off the screen with his volume at maximum shouting, “Danger! Danger!” He was capable of shooting lightning bolts from his mechanical hands. He had a huge database of information. He was programmed to protect and serve the Robinson family, and had a special connection to one family member named Will.
For those of you over the age of 45, you probably recognize the character simply called “Robot” from the hit television series Lost in Space. From 1965 to 1968 I’m sure I watched every one of the 83 episodes produced. I wanted to see what kind of trouble Dr. Smith would get into when he ignored the warnings of the robot that there was danger ahead. Sometimes I wish I would have learned more about avoiding danger from the misdirected and devious Dr. Smith.
Yesterday in our study of Isaiah we saw that the Lord Almighty planted a vineyard – the nation of Israel – and gave it every opportunity to produce a good harvest for His glory. They failed to do so because they didn’t recognize or heed the warnings of danger ahead. As you read through the fifth chapter of Isaiah today you will notice six warnings of danger ahead that very aptly apply to our modern world. We would be wise to heed them before we too fall into a pit from which there may be no apparent escape.
1. The Danger of Materialism – verse 8 – Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land. The pursuit of personal prosperity will eventually leave us desolate. Jesus said that money very quickly becomes our master, and when it does we cannot serve Him, for no one can serve two masters at the same time. Don’t live in denial about this…there is grave danger ahead for those who pursue wealth as their means of personal gratification.
2. The Danger of Hedonism – verses 11 and 12 – Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands. The pursuit of pleasure will result in the loss of freedom, and according to verse 14, the appetite for pleasure is exceeded only by the appetite of the grave.
3. The Danger of Deceit and Denial – verse 18 – Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes. I’m amazed at how easy it is for us to say we have surrendered everything to Jesus and then fill up our backpacks and wagons with the supplies of sin just in case the trip doesn’t go as we expected.
4. The Danger of Relativity and Rationalization – verse 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. I’m also amazed at how easily we justify those backpacks and wagons filled with sin.
5. The Danger of Humanism – verse 21 – Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Here’s the reason why we have backpacks and wagons filled with sin – because we really trust in ourselves more than we trust in God.
6. The Danger of Injustice – verse 22 and 23 – 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. We have made heroes of the wrong people – people without righteous character. We have neglected to treat the guilty with justice and the innocent with compassion. We care more about acceptance than we do integrity.
As I look around at society I see the arms of the robot flailing in the air. But the real issue is not society – the real issue is me. I have become more like Dr. Smith than I ever believed I would. It’s time to start recognizing the danger – not the danger that’s ahead, but the danger that is already upon us.