“And in that day the Lord God of hosts called for weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth. But instead, joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating meat and drinking wine: ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’”
Isaiah lived during interesting times. The northern nation of Israel was about to fall prey to Assyrian forces, while the southern nation of Judah was facing the threat of annihilation. Instead of turning from immorality and seeking God, the people were determined to continue in their wickedness. A great campaign was underway to fortify the cities to withstand enemy forces. They built reservoirs to hold water, stored up grain supplies, and made pacts with other nations in order to withstand the onslaught of the enemy. In all their efforts to prepare for battle, they forgot the most important step, they failed to turn to the Lord.
It seems whenever our leaders speak, they refer to the difficult times we are facing as a people, and a nation. Most of us experience first hand the financial crisis; we also hear of the constant threat of terrorist attacks, and how an inappropriate response may insight a global conflict. Immorality seems to be at an all time high, creating moral confusion, which has led to increased social chaos. It seems to me, great efforts are being taken to protect us against these things. Anyone who has traveled in the last 14 years, has experienced the heightened security in airports. We have seen metal detectors installed in schools, and increased security in almost every public gathering place. Committees have been formed, laws written, and policies implemented, all in an attempt to ward off the dangers of modern society. With all that is being done, we are failing to take the most important step, that is, turning back to the Lord.
It is time to realize, the answer to our present condition is spiritual. Hezekiah, King of Judah, led the nation on a campaign to turn to the Lord. The result was, while every nation around them fell to Assyria, Judah was spared.
Our present condition calls for “weeping, mourning, and sackcloth.” These are figurative ways to show repentance.