There are few words in scripture
that strike such a profound level
of announced consequence for
human words and action as the
word “Woe”. Even the dictionary
casts a very serious shadow with
this definition: “grievous distress,
affliction, or trouble”.
While we have all experienced
unfortunate, even very serious matters, this concept
of distress, affliction, or trouble brings us
face to face with something that no one would
ever want to become a reality.

We tend to think that such a warning doesn’t
apply to us and that may put us in the challenging
place of being willing to push the envelope,
to take a risk that we can avoid the consequences
of such actions. Even while we become aware of
words of warning we sometimes seem to slip into
a sense of comfort that such serious results
won’t come to us.

In our sermon study for today, Abel Rios will
share a message that addresses this type of
warning. With a scripture passage that begins
with the word “woe” we would be well advised to
pay attention, to take heed of the counsel that
follows that word of warning. And in this passage,
the prophet explains a very serious issue
that is at the heart of understanding the consequences
of becoming an agent for the devil,
actually calling God’s definition of ‘what is good
and what is bad’, a lie.

God has hard-wired every human with something
very special called a conscience. In fact,
I believe it is the mechanism through which the
Creator makes provision for every person to
receive impressions, even a call to moral understanding
and behavior. The conscience is also
the communication system through which we
are prompted by God toward what is good and
what is right. There are people who have never
heard of God, who know nothing about the gift of
salvation through Jesus but who act in ways that
are sensitive to others needs, who choose to
honor the value of life, and who live their lives
trying to do what they understand as being right.

But the prophet Isaiah declares that when people
work to undermine God’s definitions of good
and substitute evil in its place, they are working
to deceive and confuse people. God is so
serious about our understanding of what He
says is good that there is a very dire warning
that great distress, affliction or trouble are on
the way. May we always honor what God calls
‘good’ and avoid any confusion of what that is.

Pastor Phil