Smoke in the Temple
J. Gerald Harris
We live in a sin-soaked, tension-filled, hell-bent world suspended in a morass of insecurity. It is a world much like the world of Isaiah's day. Our primary text is in Isaiah 6, but let me give you a quick synopsis of Isaiah, chapter 5 as we think about point number 1.
I. The Crisis Encountered
There was a crisis in Israel and Judah in the days of Isaiah. In fact, as we consider The Crisis Encountered, let us notice first that:
a. The Kingdom Was Declining
In Isaiah 5:8-23 a series of six "woes" are pronounced. These six "woes" from Isaiah provide the picture of a declining kingdom and also serves as a scathing commentary of current attitudes toward God and His Word here in America.
In verse 8 Isaiah writes, "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field….". The evil spoken of here is land grabbing - materialism, greed. It is the same way in America. We have an insatiable desire for material things.
Time Magazine has said that "America is like an unloved child with an ice cream cone: fat, full of pimples, and screaming for more." I hate to say it; but we are characterized by a grasping materialism.
The second "woe" is in verse 11: "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!"
I was preaching at First Baptist Naples, Florida recently and went into a restaurant with the pastor and when we were checking out of the restaurant there was a man behind us wearing a T-shirt upon which were inscribed the words, "Beer is the proof that God wants us to be happy." And that is what a lot of people think. Some kind of alcoholic drink is the beverage of choice for the vast majority of Americans. In fact, I have been told that drinking is becoming a problem on many seminary campuses today.
Listen to what a member of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
We drank for happiness and beca ...
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