Archive for August 23rd, 2016

Isaiah 28

Isaiah 28 begins with the assessment of the people of Ephraim.  “Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim”.  There is a problem and drunkenness was a significant enough problem that the Lord directed Isaiah to directly address the drunkards of Ephraim.  When alcohol overcomes us, we are in sin. You might think there would be a strict prohibition against drinking alcohol in the Bible, but there isn’t.  Isaiah calls the people of Ephraim “those overcome with wine”!  They have a problem and he calls them out.  But it isn’t the wine that is the problem.

In fact, Jesus drank wine along with many other biblical folks.  The Bible allows the moderate use of alcohol but it strictly condemns drunkenness. There is a huge difference between those two. Whenever alcohol impairs our senses, our thinking, our judgment, or our reflexes, we are overcome with wine and it is sin. Whenever we feel compelled to drink, or have difficulty not drinking, we are overcome with wine and it is sin. If we have to hide our drinking, or are secretly ashamed of our drinking, we are overcome with wine and it is sin.

The Lord has one who is mighty and strong”. The drunkard needs to know that God is stronger than the drunkard, stronger than the power of alcohol, stronger than anything. If the drunkard is powerless to stop his drinking, God has the power to help him stop.  It is not hopeless.  God is able.  The drunken priests and teachers in Ephraim are making fun of Isaiah and the teaching he makes.  “For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little”. With this, the drunk, ungodly prophets and priests mock Isaiah’s teaching believing it is too simple.

God makes it clear through Isaiah that the standard has been set and has not moved.  “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation….I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter”.  God set the cornerstone who is Jesus Christ – the foundation for our lives, and a secure, stable foundation upon which everything lasting can be built.  And He keeps building into us in order to keep the building straight with justice and righteousness.

%d bloggers like this: