The imagery in these chapters is beautiful. And chilling.
This is not the first (and far from the last) time Israel’s relationship with God is a symbol for everyone’s relationship with God. The behavior of mankind doesn’t seem to change much; Isaiah points out a few tendencies:
Those who focus their attention on dead-end financial gain (5:8-10).
Those who escape life by pleasure. Endlessly drinking, partying, without a thought of who God is and what he’s doing.
Those who are well aware of their sin, dragging it around with them everywhere, ignoring God’s extension of freedom.
Which tendency do you have?
I’m prone to ignore suffering. Turn the music up louder. Invite more people over. (Eat more snacks.) The latter part of that verse on escapism stings: “they never think about the Lord or notice what he’s doing”. I’m learning you can’t properly acknowledge who God is without acknowledging suffering. God does his most vivid, brilliant handiwork in the face of hardship. Ignoring it makes the gospel irrelevant. The mourning comes before the joy.
Being familiar with what road you go down in moments of unhealth is important. Take time today and process this with God.