Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Woes Upon Bad Fruit

Isaiah 5:8-25.

"The six woes of this passage specify the bad fruit of verses 2 and 4.  The list is damning:  greedy land-grabbing (8), drunken debauchery (11-12), arrogant defiance of God (18-19), self-justifying sophistry (20), conceit (21), and perversion of justice (22-23).  Taken together, these woes probably reflect the conditions that developed in Judah during the reign of Uzziah...As we have already seen, this was in many ways a golden age of impressive achievements, but it also had a darker side.  A new, wealthy elite emerged, who grew more and more corrupt and oppressive as they became intoxicated (in more ways than one!0 with materialism and the pursuit of pleasure." - Webb, p56.

2 Chronicles 26:1-23 gives us the longest account of Uzziah's reign.  Great military might, fascinating technological advances, his fifty-two years as king was apparently chronicled by Isaiah, something we have apparently lost (2 Chron 26:22).  However, it appears that both Judah and the northern kingdom enjoyed this prosperous time.  Uzziah shows forth his personal pride and rejection of God by disobeying His laws and coming to the temple to burn incense on the LORD's altar - even at the warning of the priests.  Struck by leprosy for this act of insubordination, we cannot help but surmise that this single event was the capstone of a lifestyle of arrogant defiance before God even in the midst of so many blessings.

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