Six Woes Is 5: 8-30 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There could actually be seven woes in this passage but the seventh [v.24] doesn’t say “woe” – in fact, it is the root cause of the first six woes. To study this passage in its entirety, we will first examine the woes and then we will go back through the passage and study the consequences of each.
Here’s the trouble:
Urbanization and Commercialization – v.8 – houses built in subdivisions and farms joined so closely that they have to be farmed commercially to be profitable.
Revelling – v.11 – partying and feasting day and night, accompanied with music.
Addiction – v.18 – so addicted to their sin that they draw it with cords and cart ropes.
Leasing – v.20 – lying and twisting the truth so much that evil becomes good and good is viewed as evil.
Conceit [or foolishness] – v.21 – thinking that they are wise when in reality they are just conceited fools [Rom 1:22, 1 Cor 3:18-21].
Drunkenness – v.22-23 – strong men and mighty men perverting judgment because they are inebriated [Prov 31:4-5, Is 28:7].
Rebellion – v.24 – casting away and despising the words of God – this one is not mentioned as a woe but you can see that it is the underlying cause of the six.
Here’s the consequence of each of these:
Urbanization – v.9 – houses built so close that men don’t have any way to get alone with God – the more urbanized our country has become, the less people spend time with the Lord and with their families – of course, when the houses are so close together, they are much easier to destroy when the Lord has had enough – everyone is dependent upon city utilities and so they all suffer at the same time
Commercialization – v.10 – no backyard gardens, thus no sustainability – when God withholds the rain, no food is produced – here the production is so low that 10 acres of vineyard only yields one bath [Ezek 45:11 – about 8 gals] and a homer [Ezek 45:11] only yields an ephah [which is one tenth of an homer]
Revelling – v.11-12 – they are so busy partying that they take no thought about the work and operation of God – therefore they have no knowledge [Rom 1:21, 28] – and therefore they go into captivity [by the Assyrians taking the ten northern tribes and the Babylonians taking the two southern tribes] – they become famished and thirsty – v.14 – hell enlarges to accommodate the multitudes that end up there – v.15 – men are humbled – v.16 – the Lord is exalted – v.17 – nomads show up and sheep free range
Addiction – v.19 – these desperate sinners want to see God put to the test to satisfy them, like telling Jesus to come down from the cross before they would believe him – see Ecc 8:11
The other woes – v.20-30 – the very root of their society rots and their bloom turns to dust – they are burned, defeated and dying – and the nations are gathered together against them [Zeph 3:8, Zech 14]