Woe Is Me

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Isaiah 3-6

The “woes” in chapter 5 are instructive to us as we seek to shape our behavior biblically. Woe to those who seek to swallow up every one else economically (5:8). Already in chapter 3, God condemns “grinding the face of the poor” (v. 15). Also in the coming day of judgment “the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets,” and so on (3:18). Businesspeople must accept social responsibility, something which often does not happen even among Christians.

Woe to those who love alcohol (5:11-22). Again the message is contemporary. Woe to those who question that God is at work in human life (vv. 18-19). “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (v. 20). Woe to those who are know-it-alls (v. 21).

Isaiah has a vision of God in all his majesty. He heard the angels chanting, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts” (6:3). He cried out, “Woe is me.” Before he had seen the sinfulness of others; now he sees his own sin. When he confesses that sin, God provides for forgiveness. Being forgiven, he hears the call of God to go out to be God’s servant, and he responds, “Here am I! Send me” (v. 8).

We all need to realize that we are sinners. To receive God’s forgiveness made possible by the blood of Christ. To hear the call to serve and to respond with a hearty yes. Has this happened to you?


Father, forgive us and give us grace to respond wholeheartedly to the call to service. In Christ. Amen.