Beware of the Label …

“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!” (Isaiah 5:20)

He had just finished preaching a very sobering and powerful sermon on the subject of SIN.  After the service, one of the leaders of the congregation came to talk with him in his study.  He said, “We don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our young men and women hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners themselves.  You may use the term ‘mistake’ if you wish but don’t speak so plainly about sin!”

Well, what we find here was a communication problem or was it?  If you had been that preacher, how would you have reacted?  Here is what the preacher did:  The preacher took down a small bottle and showing it to the man in his study said, “Do you see the label on this bottle?  It says strychnine — and underneath in bold, red letters the word ‘POISON!’  Do you know what you are asking me to do?  You are suggesting that I change the label.”

He continued, “Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, ‘Essence of Peppermint’, don’t you see what might happen?  Someone would use it; not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die.  So it is, too, with the matter of sin.  The milder you make your label; the more dangerous you make your poison!”

Mankind has become very proficient at confusing evil with good.  Our adversary, Satan, is very skilled at muddying the water of values, truth and morality.  If there is even a hint that he can capitalize on weakness in honoring and respecting the authority found in the Word of God … make no mistake about it … he will move in for the attack that can prove to be deadly for one generation and for those to follow!

The prophet Isaiah spoke words some 2500 years ago that are just as relevant to our generation and to those who might follow, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.”

  • As the prophet of old we must be strong and courageous enough to condemn those things that God condemns and approve those things He approves.
  • As the prophet of old, we must be strong and courageous enough to apply His truths to our personal lives as we strive on a daily basis to “walk in the light” when the world around us is so dark!
  • As the prophet of old we must always keep God’s Word as the one and only guide to live, serve and worship by!
  • As the prophet of old may we strive to avoid justifying and compromising for the sake of convenience or self-approval!
  • As the prophet of old we must recognize the ease with which we can make excuses that allow for disobedience for ourselves, family and brethren!

C.S. Lewis wrote concerning Isaiah 5:20, “I don’t want to be filled with that Woe!”  Neither do I.  My friends … one thing we can be sure of — that which was once evil is still evil and that which the Bible calls good should still be considered good!

Bill Fairchild, Jr.


P.S. How are you doing on your daily Bible reading?

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