To those who are of a better mind I would say, Be strong, and dare to stem the torrent of iniquity, that would bear down all before it. If the word of God be intended for “a light to our feet, and a lantern to our paths,” then make use of it; study it, as it were, upon your knees: meditate upon it day and night: and beg of God “to open your understandings that you may understand it,” and to sanctify your hearts that you may obey it. holy, just, and good, and to the Gospel, the good word of God, To call evil good is practical atheism. There is a customary mode of talking, in which familiar formulas of praise and censure, as to moral objects, are employed as if by rote, revolving the admission of important principles, and recognising in its full extent the grand distinction between moral good and evil. They prefer erroneous and fake doctrines to the true; they prefer an evil to an upright course of conduct. By what criterion are applause and censure apportioned? “Woe unto them,” etc. 18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: 19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Darkness and light, bitter and sweet, therefore, are not tautological metaphors for evil and good; but epithets applied to evil and good according to their essential principles, and their necessary and internal effects. He always seems to have a twinkle in his eye. Can they who have entered into the service of the sanctuary, and solemnly undertaken to guide us in the way of peace, can they be wrong? 4. This view of the context is given for two reasonsâ. The difference between the terms, as viewed by such a person, seems to be that vice and crime are referable merely to an abstract standard, and perhaps a variable one; while sin brings into view the legislative and judicial character of God. Prayer and keeping close to Holy Scripture. All are aspiring after a higher place than they possess, and conceive that they shall catch the phantom of happiness when they have reached a certain point. III. The latter conclusion would, in too many instances, be found to be erroneous, not because the person, in his talk, was guilty of deliberate hypocrisy, or even intended to deceive at all, but because his words conveyed more than he meant, especially when phrases used of course, and by a sort of habit, came to be subjected to the rules of a strict interpretation. Again; as religion is esteemed a superficial thing, so it is also deemed a melancholy thing. III. By enthusiasm, as applied with a reference to religion, I understand the subjection of the judgment, in points of religious faith or practice, to the influence of the imagination. It is generally agreed that there are some right and some wrong actions; but accurate notions of right and wrong have seldom been found where revelation hath not been received; which should teach us to set a just value upon the Gospel. So that, with respect to God, there must be moral good or moral evil in our behaviour. preferred the darkness of their rites and ceremonies, and human For example, glorifying adultery and treating committed believers as dangerous radicals turns the truth on its head. There is no other directory than that; and yet they will not only not follow it, but will go on in wilful opposition to it, and still affirm that they are in the way to heaven. A laudable desire of distinction and preeminence; a just sense of our own excellence and desert. Within the text of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah himself is referred to as "the prophet", but the exact relationship between the Book of Isaiah and any such historical Isaiah is complicated. Is profaneness noticed? If the outward conduct have been decent, it is no matter what has been harboured within, or how much God has been disregarded and despised. If you perish, you must perish for yourselves; and therefore it behoves you to think for yourselves, and to act for yourselves. Isa . 12 He will bring down your high fortified walls. I. THAT man in his present state is a corrupt and sinful creature, is too plain to be denied: the whole tenour of his conduct proves it beyond a doubt. And although it may be sweet to the material taste, it is nevertheless bitter, inasmuch as it produces abhorrence and disgust in the godlike nature of man, and, after a brief period of self-deception, is turned into the bitter woe of fatal results. 1. "Moral standards were destroyed by new definitions of sin (see, John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary, Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Isaiah 25 25 1 O Lord , thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. (R. South, D. D.), Straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, A Neapolitan shepherd came in anguish to his priest, saying, “Father, have mercy on a miserable sinner. 2. It is a hospitable desire to see our friends happy. “Walk not then according to the course of this world:” “follow not a multitude to do evil.” Look not at your neighbours, but at Christ and his holy Apostles. If an avowed infidel disregard the admonitions of the Scriptures, he acts consistently, because he does not acknowledge them to be of divine-authority. See the example of Jesus in His temptation. If our error could be pleaded before God in extenuation of our fault, then indeed we might have some reason for persisting in it: but how can we excuse ourselves before him, when we had the means of information in our hands, and followed our own surmises in preference to his commands? Begin to “judge righteous judgment.” Begin to view things, as you will surely view them when you shall stand at the tribunal of Christ. This, therefore, it becomes us especially to bear in mind: never can we live for ourselves alone. That call evil good, and good evil; that take away the difference between good and evil; that justify and approve wicked men and things, and condemn piety, or virtue; or righteous persons. good and evil, as between light and darkness, sweet and bitter; The calling good evil is the sin especially of the earnest and professedly religious--whether or not their religion be of the kind called Christian. Meaning the Assyrian monarch, whom he would use as an instrument in his hand to spoil and cut off the people of the Jews; who is compared to a "razor" for sharpness; and for the thorough work, and utter ruin and destruction, he should be the means of; and called a "hired" one, either in reference to the present Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria, by which he prevailed upon him to come and help him … And God has a nature by which He is distinguished from all other beings. bitter sweet — sin is bitter (Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18; Acts 8:23; Hebrews 12:15); though it seem sweet for a time (Proverbs 9:17, Proverbs 9:18). TAKE NOTICE OF ONE OR TWO OBJECTIONS which may be made against what has been said. The practice is, to a mournful extent, successful, because of our weak and perverted fallen nature. Who has not seen the contempt with which God’s word is treated, when it is brought forward to oppose some fashionable practice, some favourite lust? So the difference between virtue and vice does not depend upon the will of God, because His will cannot make or destroy this immutable difference. you have done wonderful things, ... despite the cleverness # 25:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. The good that is in evil is caught by that light and gladly hailed. II. ASSOCIATED WITH biblical, prophets, book (literary) Variations In like manner, truth and falsehood, right and wrong, are the objects of the understanding; and no man surely is so absurd or stupid as to think that we can make a thing true by believing it, or false by disbelieving it. Gospel “light,” “good,” “sweet,” here set forth, showing the way of salvation by faith in Christ. 2. 4. IT IS A GREAT SIN to disregard or even to underrate in the least degree the eternal distinctions of right and wrong, to view things in their wrong aspects and to call things by their wrong names. This is illustrated in the third chapter of Genesis. Some would needs have a pragmatical prying into and meddling with other men’s matters, a fitness for business, forsooth, and accordingly call and account none but such persons men of business. All who go to heaven will go there by the unanimous voice of the whole universe. Be not ashamed to call good and evil by their proper names; and to shew by the whole tenour of your lives, that you know how to distinguish them. Isaiah 35 is the thirty-fifth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets.This is the final chapter in a group (chapters 28–35) which the Jerusalem Bible calls a collection of "poems on Israel and Judah". Show the grand and principal instances in which the abuse or misapplication of those names has such a fatal and pernicious effect. It is skill in making our way to advancement. the causes of bad men good, and of good men evil; others of THE CAUSE OF THIS SIN is due to a fading appreciation of moral evil, to a tampering with it, and to a destruction of that healthy instinct which revolts at it. The Targum is. Must it not rather be imputed to his former wickedness, and to his present want of more religion? To show that in this whole passage the prophet refers to species of iniquity familiar to our own time and country; and, 2. The very guiltiest of sinners is he who paints the gates of hell with the colours of Paradise, and gives names of clear disparagement and dislike to scrupulous honour and stainless purity. One who thus indulges in the use of such expressions as imply a recognition of the principles of Biblical morality, but whose conduct repudiates them, in expressing his opinions on moral subjects avoids, as if instinctively, the terms of censure and of approbation which belong to Scripture. A most corrupt condition of a church and state is here described, in which men accustomed to vices begin, with the things themselves, to lose also the true names of them, and to draw a vail, as it were, over their impieties, by sanctifying their crimes with the name of virtues. 5. We do not mean to discourage industry; that is truly becoming in every person, and highly advantageous in every state. Abarbinel interprets this of the ten tribes preferring the worship at Dan and Bethel, before that at Jerusalem. Light denotes truth, knowledge, piety. 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Two men shall converse together upon truth and falsehood, employing the same words and phrases; and yet when you come to ascertain the sense in which they severally use the same language, you shall find that while the one adopts the rigorous and simple rule of truth and falsehood laid down in the Bible and by common sense, the other holds it with so many qualifications and exceptions as almost to render it a rule more honoured in the breach than the observance. We allow the premises to be correct; but is the conclusion just? Hitherto we have noticed only men’s conduct in respect of theory; let us now behold it as it is manifest in their practice. for light, and light for darkness; that put The character thus drawn is generally applicable to ungodly men. The Deity cannot alter the nature of things so as to destroy the essential distinction between virtue and vice. The Targum is, "woe to them that say to the wicked who prosper in this world, ye are good; and say to the meek, ye are wicked: when light cometh to the righteous, shall it not be dark with the wicked? But when men presume to think for you in the concerns of your souls, it is high time to inquire, whether they will also perish for you? TO THE PRIVATE INTERESTS OF INDIVIDUALS. Here also the description of the vice is followed by its punishment, including not only personal but national calamities, as war, desolation, and captivity. 2. Bodily abstinence, joined with a demure, affected countenance, is often called piety and mortification. It will endure no rival: it will make a truce with no enemy: it will reign absolute over the whole man. The evil word is a long step beyond the evil thought. DEMOGRAPHICS) Isiah reached its apex position of #320 in the U.S. during the years 1890-1899, and is at #1159 currently. The text is the fourth in a series of six woes denounced upon as many outward manifestations of corrupt affection then especially prevalent, but by no means limited to that age or country; and these are set forth, not as the product of so many evil principles, but as the varied exhibition of that universal and profound corruption which he had just asserted to exist in general terms. Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil — That endeavour to confound both the names and the natures of virtue and vice, of piety and impiety; commend and applaud what is evil, and disparage and discountenance what is good; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, &c. — Ignorance and error, for knowledge and truth: in other words, who subvert, or pervert, all the great principles of truth, wisdom, and of righteousness. But are the concerns of time really of such importance? “Rahab” is used of Egypt (in Psalms 87:4; 89:10). 5. 2. And what are we to do? If right and wrong are founded in the nature of things, then it is impossible for any man to become a thorough sceptic in morality and religion. The historical context of Isaiah 9… One would suppose that its import should be candidly examined, and carefully ascertained. It is an idle habit by which nothing is intended. Many there are who judge not for themselves, but take up with the judgment of others; and seeing men of knowledge, rank, and figure, practising iniquity without fear or remorse, they think they may do the same, and follow their leaders. 1. After spending a long time in the middle of the name pack, Isaiah has had a … that which would be bitter to them in the end, than the sweet Nature hath limited and determined their appetites within certain bounds, which they have no desire to transgress. It now remains to MAKE A NUMBER OF DEDUCTIONS FROM THE IMPORTANT TRUTH WHICH WE HAVE EXPLAINED AND ESTABLISHED. Wo unto them that call evil good - This is the fourth class of sins denounced. The theology of popery says this because it is the problem. 20.That call evil good — Those who call “evil,” “good,” and “good,” “evil;” to whom right is to be shunned, and wrong to be preferred; to whom the truth is a lie, and a lie is the truth. So the sinner may believe, on God's authority or man's, that sin is evil and holiness is good, but his diseased eye will still confound light with darkness, and his lips, whenever they express the feelings of his heart, will continue to call good evil and evil good. Character is not cut in marble; it may become diseased as our bodies do. 2. In the place of conscience he substitutes pride. ), IV. Light has a nature by which it is distinguished from darkness. Despite this honorific distinction, Isaiah is another one of those biblical names that was never part of the cool kids club…until now. What is pride? 1 Lord, you are my God;. 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. 3. OBSERVATIONS WHICH MAY BE OF USE TO US IN PRACTICE. Bellarmine, in his 4 th Book and fifth chapter, De Pontifice Romano, has this monstrous passage: That if the Pope should through error or mistake command vices and prohibit virtues, the Church would be bound in conscience to believe vice to be good and virtue evil. 1. 1. Yea, will you not then curse your folly, for using such pains to deceive yourselves and others, and for involving yourselves in everlasting misery, when, if you had not so “rebelled against the light,” you might have been heirs of everlasting glory? Is the subjugation of the passions a contemptible attainment? Or will it appear a light matter to ourselves, when we are suffering the vengeance due to it in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone? That saying of Luther was oft in Pareus’s mouth, Theologus gloriae dicit malum bonum, et bonum malum. To the former I beg leave to propose one solemn question: God has said, Woe unto them that call evil good, &c. Can you change that woe into a blessing! I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness. They must indeed make “evil good, and good evil, and must change bitter to sweet, and sweet to bitter,” before they can have the smallest ground of hope in such a state as theirs. That sense hath usually nothing to corrupt its judgment; but it is not so with the determinations which the mind passeth upon well-doing and evil-doing; for there is often an inclination one way more than another, and this inclination is towards the wrong way, arising from various causes internal and external; so that serious consideration and caution are necessary to go before the judgment. Permit me then to address you in the words of the Apostle, “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Begin to weigh both sentiments and actions in the balance of the sanctuary. There are crimes and vices, but no sins in his vocabulary. To “call evil good” is the sin especially of the young and careless--the giddy and wanton in their way. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. The Israelites had wearied God with their sin and disobedience, but God is faithful and promises once again to care for them and provide for them. 1. The boldest attacks of infidelity are often couched under the plausible name of “a spirit of free inquiry.”, 2. Isaiah 30:7 "For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength [is] to sit still." III. Another illustration of the text is furnished by PERSONS WHO REPRESENT A PARTIAL CONFORMITY TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AS MERITING THE APPELLATION OF RELIGION: and thus also by implication STIGMATISE THE TRUE CHRISTIAN AS “RIGHTEOUS OVER MUCH.”. And yet, when you come to ascertain the sense in which they severally use the terms employed by both, you shall find that while the one adopts the rigorous and simple rule of truth and falsehood which is laid down in the Bible and by common sense, the other holds it with so many qualifications and exceptions, as almost to render it a rule more honoured in the breach than the observance. Read commentary on this popular Bible verse and understand the real meaning behind God's Word using John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. He will speak of an act or a course of acts as wrong, perhaps as vicious,âit may even be as wicked, but not as sinful. The preposition ל (lamed), prefixed to the words good and evil, is equivalent to Of; and therefore the meaning is, They who say of evil, It is good, and of good, It is evil; that is, they who by vain hypocrisy conceal, excuse, and disguise wicked actions, as if they would change the nature of everything by their sophistical arguments, but who, on the contrary deface good actions by their calumnies. To adduce only one instance more, they persuade themselves that their eternal state is safe—. The people were calling good what God called evil, and vice versa. Isaiah 5:20. Examples of “putting darkness for light, and light for darkness.” The traditions of men for doctrines of God. I shall, therefore, now proceed to prove the different natures of our actions as to moral good and evil--. 5. 2 At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. The avaricious and ambitious grasping after great possessions, not merely as a means of luxurious indulgence, but as a distinction and a gratification of pride (Isa ). It is proper spirit, a due attention to our own dignity. 1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. Were his Apostles melancholy? Rashness was called courage, and prudence timidity, and treachery cleverness, and honesty stupidity. The fourth bad product of the Israelite vineyard was perversity. The real horror of this passage consists in the fact that we have here one of the greatest sins that can be conceived, and, at the same time, one of the most common. We might easily prosecute this subject in a great variety of views: but enough has been spoken to elucidate the words before us: and we trust that no doubt can remain upon your minds, but that all who consider religion as superficial, melancholy, or contemptible, together with all who magnify the pursuits of time, and extenuate sin as venial, and at the same time persuade themselves that their eternal state is safe, are indeed obnoxious to the censure in the text. If right and wrong, truth and falsehood, be founded in the nature of things, then there appears to be a great propriety in God’s appointing a day of judgment. As virtue and vice, therefore, take their origin from the nature of things, so the difference between moral good and moral evil is as immutable as the nature of things from which it results. Religion, as it exists in the soul, is a heaven-born principle, that pervades all its powers, and operates in all its faculties. To such the prophet threatened woe (Isa 5:9), and to such the Apostle James also (Jas 5:4). 17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat. Religion and virtue are truly most agreeable to nature, and vice and wickedness are of all things the most contrary to it. They were mocking God"s ways publicly and privately. 20.Wo to them that call evil good. O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. It may very well be applied to The three forms of expression in the text appear to be significant of one and the same thing. 1. "Moral standards were destroyed by new definitions of sin (see Amos 5:7), people using God"s vocabulary but not His dictionary." THERE IS ORIGINALLY IN THE VERY NATURE OF THINGS A NECESSARY AND ETERNAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, BETWEEN VIRTUE AND VICE, WHICH THE REASON OF THINGS DOES ITSELF OBLIGE MEN TO HAVE CONSTANT REGARD TO. Lukewarmness, though capable of being roused to a turbulent defence of forms and of its own conduct, is by nature silent and supine. This was the great crime of the Pharisees against Christ. Men are capable of judging what is right or wrong in respect to the Divine character and conduct. II. which showed they loved darkness rather than light, ( John 3:19 ) and chose 4. Such persons, the Prophet tells us, act as if they would change light into darkness, and sweet into bitter; by which he means that their folly is monstrous, for it would tend to confound and destroy all the principles of nature. What is there under the sun more despised than this? (J. Find out the meaning and the origin of the name, Isaiah on SheKnows.com. No faculty creates its own object, but only discerns it. Can we convince him that light was darkness, and darkness light, because we persuaded ourselves and others that it was so? Pray that the Spirit may “guide you into all the truth,” and “give you a right judgment in all things.”, 6. Proud member Isaiah was one of, if not the, most important prophet in the Bible. 3. There is scarcely one of us who does not think himself sufficiently religious; and yet, to what does the religion of many a man amount? Such a declaration, awful as it is, would furnish no specific test of character, because it would still leave the question undecided who it is that chooses evil and rejects good. He has an amazing personality, very funny, and very cute. May we not here see a representation of those minor departures from the truth which prepare the minds of men for grievous errors and of those thoughts of sin which open a way for the worst of crimes! [Hebrews 5:14] And then take heed that we neither make censure’s whip nor charity’s cloak too long; we may offend in both. To them â That take away the difference between good and evil; that justify wicked men and things, and condemn piety, or righteous persons. you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. For men are very partial to their own conduct, and therefore when they approve virtue in others, though themselves be vicious, there must be an overbearing evidence in favour of it. (H. O. 2. (R. South, D. D.). Isaiah 25. In the context, He solemnly cells upon His people to judge of the propriety and benignity of His conduct towards them (verses 3, 4; also Jeremiah 2:5; Ezekiel 18:25; Ezekiel 18:29; Micah 6:1-5). And, if we think it of any importance what our condition shall be in the invisible world, let us desist from our self-deception, which, however pleasant or fashionable it may be, will most unquestionably issue in our eternal ruin. GOD HAS, MOREOVER, BY HIS SUPREME AND ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY, AND BY EXPRESS DECLARATION OF HIS WILL IN HOLY SCRIPTURE, ESTABLISHED AND CONFIRMED THIS ORIGINAL DIFFERENCE OF THINGS, AND WILL SUPPORT AND MAINTAIN IT BY HIS IMMEDIATE POWER AND GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD. It must not be forgotten that a rational nature is incapable of loving evil, simply viewed as evil, or of hating good, when simply viewed as good. Isaiah 5:20-25 King James Version (KJV) 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter; to the disease, no doubt: to that therefore must be ascribed all the pain of sorrow and contrition, even supposing it to be ever so great, and ever so long continued. It means that those like the people of today, who say that evil (any sin) is good and good is evil are going to be punished. THE PUNISHMENT OF THIS SIN is the failure of all life, the waste, the loss, the shipwreck of the human soul. 4. That put bitter - “Bitter and bitterness” are often used to denote “sin;” see the note at Acts 8:23; also Romans 3:14; Ephesians 4:31; Hebrews 12:15; Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18. 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Usually understood in their own is wholly different he substitutes the love of praise and the meaning of 43:19... Times as RECORDED in the wilderness and streams in the U.S. during the 1890-1899... Dignifying it with the name of constancy such an one was Enoch, and to his want! Am making a way to smooth over an implacable, unalterable spleen and malice, appealing! Upon his will during the years 1890-1899, and good evil, and benevolence man. A source of malicious pleasure to those who hate God and whom he designs punish!