Beyond Isaiah 5:20

Posted on July 4, 2020

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By David Ettinger

An Applicable Verse
A familiar refrain for the past several decades among evangelicals in the West is that we are living in “Isaiah 5:20 times.” What does this mean? First, we need to know what Isaiah 5:20 says, which is:

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.

It’s true! Never in the history of the West, particularly here in the U.S., has this verse been so applicable. We do call evil good, and good evil. Indeed, violent protestors are called “good” while law enforcers are called “evil.” “Enlightened” atheistic progressives are called “good” while Bible-believers who live by a moral code are called “evil” in their perceived prejudice and hatred.

Conceding the appropriateness of Isaiah 5:20 to the times in which we live, the question must be asked, “Now what?” In other words, what are the ramifications of this? What consequences await the society that emulates the Isaiah 5:20 mentality?

Reading On
In context, the Book of Isaiah is about ancient Israel. However, this does not negate the fact that its truths extend beyond both its borders and timeframe. This is because regardless of God’s specific “audience” at a specific time, what He says is a reflection of His eternal and unchangeable nature.

In other words, God’s oracles reflecting His character communicated at a precise time in history hold for the current day as well (no matter when throughout the ages the “current day” was). Therefore, if God uttered a specific truth in the distant past that transcends the time in which it was uttered, we today better pay attention to it.

If we’re going to apply Isaiah 5:20 to today, we must also apply what follows it. And what follows Isaiah 5:20 regarding ancient Israel tells us in the West today what will soon befall us.

What’s Next?
So, what’s next for the U.S. and the West? Here are a few portions from Isaiah Chapter 5, post-verse 20:

  • “Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel” (v. 24).
  • “Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised” (v. 25).
  • “In that day they [invading nations] will roar over it like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds” (v. 30).

In a word: Destruction! Bottom line: Because the U.S. and the West are now Isaiah 5:20 entities, God will destroy them. If we accept Isaiah 5:20 as truth, we must also accept as truth verses 21-30, which speak of the consequences of this reality.

Isaiah 5:20 is the reality of the day; beyond Isaiah 5:20 is the punishment for it.

Yet, time still remains for we who love the Lord Jesus to shine as beacons of light in these ever-darkening days, telling whoever will listen that paradise is attainable when this great big mess of a world we live in ceases to be!