Rearranging the Price Tags (Isaiah 5:2)

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The Danish philosopher Sören Kierkegaard tells a parable of a man who broke into a department store one night. Rather than stealing merchandise, he rearranged the price tags on many items. The next morning the clerks and customers found one surprise after another: diamond necklaces for a dollar and cheap costume jewelry costing thousands.

In Isaiah’s day, Israel had rejected and despised God’s instructions (Isaiah 5:24). The people grossly underestimated faith in Him and the value of His laws. They cheapened the worth of patiently waiting on the Lord to work out His purposes (vv. 18-19). They devalued virtue and inflated evil (v. 20). They overpriced their own wisdom and cleverness (v. 21) and made heroes of heavy drinkers (v. 22). Bribery routinely subverted justice (v. 23). God had created a climate where goodness could flourish (vv. 1-2), but His people had cultivated weeds and produced moral confusion.

Does this sound up-to-date? Our society is doing just what Israel did centuries ago. What a challenge to the church! May we who know Christ as our Savior show our value of goodness, righteousness, justice, sobriety, wisdom, and purity. – Dennis J. De Haan

This strife-torn world, so wracked by sin,
So deep in desperate need,
Must see firsthand the love of Christ
From Christians who will lead. – D. J. De Haan

The best way to fight evil is to live for Christ.
– July 8, 1994, Our Daily Bread

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