Truth Has Fallen in the Streets

3:49 pm hope, Truth, unbelief

In Isaiah 58, God tells Israel the virtues which would prepare them to be covenant-keepers and to carry out His Messianic plans.  But, in chapter 59, Isaiah reveals that these people are so entrenched in sin and rebellion against God’s program of righteousness that they must be constantly warned of the judgment of God to come upon those who despise God’s covenant laws.  The time is 687 B.C.  Manasseh, a very wicked king, sits upon the throne in Judah.  Manasseh outstripped his predecessors in wickedness.  He reintroduced idolatry.  He persecuted God’s prophets.  The pathway of rebellion now chosen would eventually lead to Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C.
Significantly, Isaiah describes the times with the phrase, “truth has fallen in the streets” (Isa. 59:9-15).  The prophet declares, “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them.  In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.  And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”
What are the consequences of the practical aspect of the death of truth?
First, iniquity abounds.  When there is no respect for truth, there is no righteousness.  Isaiah states that sin interrupted relationship with God (Isa. 59:1-2).  God is not weakened by man’s sin.  He still retains fullness of all powers of His perfections.  The sins of the people separated them from God and stayed God’s blessings while inviting God’s wrath.  Isaiah names several sins:  hands defiled with blood (murder); fingers with iniquity; lips speak lies, tongue murmurs wickedness (59:3); no justice, no faithfulness, men trust in vanity (destitute of truth); men speak with deception, they conceive trouble and bring forth ruin, feet run to evil (make haste to shed blood); and thoughts of iniquity.  If you look closely, you will see that every part of their being was tainted by sin: hands, fingers, lips, tongue, feet and thoughts.  When truth dies, iniquity abounds!
Second,  when truth dies, chaos results.  Where there is no truth there can be no peace.  Isaiah states, “the way of peace they know not” (Isa. 59:8).  Ignorance of the truth obscures the pathway of peace.  Where there is no peace, there is violence and the land is marred by the shedding of blood.  Where there is no truth, there is no judgment or spiritual discernment.  The distinction between good and evil,  truth and error is lost.  Individuals begin to call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20).  If there is no truth, there is no light.  Isaiah describes this condition, “We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men” (Isa. 59:10).  When there is no truth, there is no safety (Isa. 59:7).  Finally, if there is no truth, there is no hope.  God is cast off.  His word is no longer heeded. Hope vanishes when truth dies.
Third, God’s judgment comes.  In Isaiah 59:18, the prophet says, “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies, to the islands he will repay recompence.”   You reap what you sow (Gal. 6:8-9).  God sees all and will recompense evil.  Ultimately, God’s truth will vindicate the righteous and punish the unrighteous.  God’s justice will prevail and His truth will go marching on!
Fourth, where there is truth, there is redemption.  Isaiah foretells of future salvation through the promised Messiah. “And the redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD” (Isa. 59:20).  Truth holds forth hope again.  Redemption comes to those who turn from their transgressions and honor God’s Word–the truth.  God’s truth will endure forever.  When people reject God’s truth, then, for them it dies.  Its power is lost to them because of their unbelief.  Where there is truth, there is a foundation for faith and where there is faith, there is hope in the sure word of the LORD.

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