Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley


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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!–Isaiah 5:20

As I read through the book of Isaiah, I’m noticing that God is pretty fed up with Judah. The word “woe” is repeated several times as God descries the sinful state of His people. I think we, in America today, may be calling down the “woe” too. I believe we, as a society, have become pretty adept at calling evil good, and good evil. We call the acceptance of the sin of homosexuality “tolerance.” The sin itself is “an alternate lifestyle” and the announcement of it is “coming out.” We have parades to honor the participants in this sin. We call fornication “making love.” We call adultery an “extramarital relationship” or “an affair.” We call killing unborn babies “terminating a pregnancy” or even sometimes “contraception.” We call the organization that does the majority of these killings each year in our country by the family friendly name “Planned Parenthood.” We refer to filthy books and movies as “containing adult content,” and houses of reveling and lasciviousness “gentlemen’s clubs.” We call idolatry lots of more palatable names from “new age religion” to “self-realization.” We refer to drunkenness as a “disease” and to worship that forsakes the Biblical pattern as “progressive.” Mothers sometimes forsake their families and say they are “finding themselves” and fathers sometimes just “move on with their lives.” We call evil good.

Perhaps even sadder to me than the positive spin we put on sin by renaming it is the way we are enamored with immoral lifestyles when they are flaunted by celebrities. We put sin in the footlights and celebrate it.The icons of darkness dazzle us. Demi and Angelina and Halle and J Lo. Brad and Johnny and Leonardo and Jake. They sparkle and shine and we watch and emulate. We put darkness for light. More commonly reported, in these Hollywood “families,” than two married people expecting a child, is a diva and her fiance’ playing at the beach with their child, or a pregnant celebrity walking along the shoreline in a bikini with her lover. The words “celebrate” and “celebrity” obviously derive from the same root. What makes us celebrate and what makes us mourn in America today? Are these, respectively, the same things that make God celebrate and make Him cry? The lights of Hollywood don’t really illuminate. They are darkness.

And do we put sweet for bitter and bitter for sweet? The Bible says His words are sweeter than the honey in the comb. Yet, we find parts of that Word, even statements of THE Word incarnate (John 1:1) to be so bitter that we just reject them. Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage in Matthew 19:9 was extremely bitter to the hearers of His day and it remains so to this day.

Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

The plain teachings of the Word about the purpose of New Testament baptism, the singular nature of the church, and the qualifications of elders are other examples of “honey”–the Word of God–that men taste and find too bitter to swallow. Isaiah pronounced woe. “Woe” is great sorrow or distress. Great sorrow is the ultimate end of those who get good and evil all mixed up.

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