Slippery Slopes

Connecting Points

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Today’s Topic:  Slippery Slopes

Today’s Text:  Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. (Isaiah 3:8)

In case you are just joining us on Connecting Points, we have begun a study of the book of Isaiah in the Bible. We are right in the middle of the first five chapters where God is revealing to Isaiah the tragedies of a society that has rejected Him and the coming judgment that will be poured out on them for their rebellion against Him.

Our last entry in this study spoke of the ways that we reject God and turn to people for our support and security. Now Isaiah is shown by God how people who trust in people end up.

There are six things in Isaiah chapter three that stand out to me as the social consequences of turning away from faith in God and obedience to His Word:

  • Oppression – verse 5a – People will oppress each other—man against man, neighbor against neighbor. 
  • Disrespect – verse 5b – The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable.
  • Unqualified Leadership – verses 6-7 – A man will seize one of his brothers at his father’s home, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!” But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.”
  • Open and Shameless Sin – verse 9 – The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. 
  • Ignorance and Apathy – verse 12 – O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
  • Hedonism  (The belief that the pursuit of pleasure is mankind’s highest goal) – verse 16 – The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.

We only need to look outside our own homes to the society that surrounds us to know that we are in the same predicament. HOWEVER, if we are caught looking outside our own homes rather than inside our own homes, we are a part of the problem and not the solution.

Oh my dear friends, how grave is our condition if we believe that we are not participants in the problem. You see, if there is any degree of any of these things in our own lives, then we too have in some way rejected the truth of God and have turned to pursuing humanistic objectives. We may not want to admit that, but it is true none the less. And the fact that we won’t admit it makes the problem more severe.

Go back and review the list again. This time, rather than evaluate it in the context of your society, evaluate it against the reality of your own life.

  • Is there any degree of oppression in you that seeks to put others down so that you can feel better about yourself?
  • Is there any measure of disrespect for the authority God has ordained over you?
  • Have you surrendered your civic responsibility to vote or even lead to those who are simply willing so you can get on with your own life?
  • Are you becoming less and less ashamed of some sin or sins in your life?
  • Are you becoming less informed about culture and how God’s Word relates to it, so that those in leadership are given free rein to go unopposed wherever they choose?
  • Are you becoming more entrenched in the pursuit of pleasure through the means of materialism, sex, alcohol, drugs, or addictions of any kind?

Piercing questions if asked humbly and answered honestly. I hope you will do both.

Pastor John