Isaiah 5:20-22 (NIV)

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.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,

When a politician is confronted with a potentially embarrassing attack from his opponent, a typical strategy to fend off the attack is to spin the talk into just the opposite. Sometimes it is simply saying the exact opposite of what the opponent is accusing you of. Other times it is accusing the opponent of doing the very thing he is accusing you of. Sadly the victor ends up being the one who can lie best.

Here the bible speaks woes on those who do such things. I always wondered whether this verse applies to the popular way of speaking about something you like as being "wicked," or as being "bad." Of course what is meant is that it is something that is actually good (at least in the eyes of the speaker.)

This verse goes on to pronounce woe on those who are proud and who consider themselves to be clever. All of these traits are avoided in the person who speaks the truth and to the person who maintains a sense of humility before God.

Finally this verse picks on those who drink famously and become known by their skills at the art of mixology. This brings back memories for me. I used to be a bartender and I remember bragging that I had made 600 drinks one evening. Now I just like to brag on Jesus. In his sermon on the mount, Jesus pronounced a number of blessings in contrast to these woes.

Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.


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