Imagine starting off your day tomorrow however you normally do. Perhaps you have breakfast, get into your car and head off to work. You turn on the radio, ready to listen to the early morning news broadcast. While listening, the broadcaster announces that Jesus will be in town today at such and such location, at such and such time. You’d be stunned. Jesus, coming right here to the city where you live. What an opportunity to see Him, to hear Him speak! But, would you go to see Jesus?
The prophet wrote, “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” (Isa. 5:20). These are actually God’s words. He is talking specifically about the nation of Israel. Earlier in the chapter He refers to them as a vineyard that He planted and cultivated, only to have it produce “wild grapes” instead of “good grapes” (vs. 1-7). The allusion is clear. God raised up Israel to be His own people, the people through whom the Savior would come into the world. He gave them His law, taught them, guided them, fought their battles for them, blessed them richly, made them a great nation. Instead of Israel remaining the righteous, faithful people of God, they turned away from God and worshipped idols. They rejected His law and made up their own, followed their own will instead of submitting to His. Ultimately, God allowed their enemies to conquer them and take them into captivity. As a result of their sin they suffered disgrace as a nation.
Often, we feel either inadequate or without sufficient resources to be able to do something that needs to be done. These lines of reasoning are constantly used by individuals and congregations in relation to serving God. In some cases we say we don’t have time to serve God as we would like. Sometimes we state that we just don’t have the ability to do some good work that needs to be done. In other cases we claim to not have sufficient resources to get the job done. While these statements can hold some validity, we must be on guard to not carelessly use them as excuses to simply let ourselves off the hook. If we open our eyes, both our physical eyes and our eyes of faith, we will often find that we have more time and ability and resources than we first imagined.
This series of articles has been extensive. Its theme has centered on the belief that our culture in this nation has been turned Upside Down… The various articles in this series (nineteen of them to this point) have pointed to numerous examples that illustrate this belief to be fact. This article concludes this series with some final thoughts.
Gary L. Hutchens