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Isaiah 5:20


20 Woe [howy] unto them that call ['amar] evil [ra`] good, [towb] and good [towb] evil; [ra`] that put [suwm] darkness [choshek] for light, ['owr] and light ['owr] for darkness; [choshek] that put [suwm] bitter [mar] for sweet, [mathowq] and sweet [mathowq] for bitter [mar]! KJV-Interlinear


20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;, Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;, Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  NASB


The second 'woe' in this passage addresses the reverse views that people pursue when they reject or ignore doctrine.

Bible doctrine is truth, but it is more than just truth, it is the doorway which you may pass through in order to gain access to truth.

Without doctrine you have no access to truth. God is truth and without access to God, then truth eludes you.

Truth is often referred to as light, with darkness being the absence of light, or total darkness.

Good is that which is decent, moral, acceptable, respectable, upright, noble, virtuous and so forth.

Evil is the opposite of good, being the immoral, the disrespectable, and so forth.

Bitter and sweet are also two opposites, with good or light being the sweet and pleasant, and sin being the bitter or disgusting or objectionable.

So, truth is that which allows us to see life clearly and you know where you are relative to everything else, or at least you have the ability to figure things out. You can see in the light, which should be obvious.

Darkness is the total absence of light, and in total darkness you cannot see anything. But more than that, you cannot even know where you are with respect to anything else. You have no orientation to self, to others, to life and especially to God.

When a person is indifferent toward God, toward doctrine, toward all that has been God designed for reality, then they live in a world of disorientation. This is not limited to criminals or people who you most generally think of as bad, but includes a lot of righteous types that believe that they can cruise through life on their own merit and have no need for God, or even Gods methods or requirements.

So, when truth is not in the soul, then the lies take over. Realities do a flip flop and everything is turned upside down. They prefer the bitter or the objectionable. They prefer the lies. They prefer being lost and do not even consider themselves as being lost. They prefer their own ways as opposed to Gods ways. They even call their ways, Gods ways.

And therefore we have the second 'woe' in this passage. Why? Because this will all lead to the most sorrowful miserable, anxiety filled, lustful, empty, unfulfilling life imaginable. The sad reality of all of this is, that the person probably will not know that they are free falling through life until they hit the bottom. And that bottom could very well be their death.

God gives us many examples in life to be able to understand how this sort of thing works. You probably have seen shows on television that have addicts that reject truth and do not believe that they have a problem. Others attempt to intervene, but that help is rejected.

Well this is a good example of how the spiritual life goes, when truth is rejected, when people refuse to study daily, when people refuse to confess their sins regularly, when people simply do not accept Gods spiritual design. Then they function just like an addict, only in the spiritual realm, or rather outside of it.

They reject their obligations in life and that leads to a dysfunctional life, a dysfunctional marriage, a dysfunctional family, a dysfunctional job, dysfunctional priorities, and on and on. And especially a dysfunctional relationship with God.

The little things become important and the important things become a nuisance to them, and that is how lives and marriages and families and careers and jobs all fall apart.

And the worst of it is when these types of people pursue the ridiculous and become belligerent, stubborn, and even violent in their pursuit of the dysfunctional, and refuse to change. They bring harm to themselves, but they also bring harm to others, and, they don't care. They just want their own way, no matter what. In their mind, you are wrong, they aren't.

Therefore, 'woe.' And that is a very bad repercussion to an empty and messed up spiritual life.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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