“O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths.” (Isaiah 3:12, NASB95)
Since the time of the Civil War our country has never been as polarized as it is today. Ideologically, spiritually, and politically we are all over the map. It is tough to find any points of agreement. In many cases, we can’t even find agreement on basic concepts of right and wrong. From the outside, one might say that we are a confused people. One might say that we don’t have a clue what direction we should be moving in. The Lord understands the root of the problem. As religious and political leaders leave the truths of God’s Word, they are left to the truths of their own creation. As they perpetuate their self-based ideology they end up leading people astray. Isaiah has two messages concerning false leaders and guides.
First, Isaiah warns the spiritual and political leaders that there will be a day of reckoning. They will be held accountable for their false guidance. They will be judged and condemned for the souls they led astray. Whether a leader believes in God doesn’t change the fact that God will hold him or her accountable for leading His (God’s) people when fulfilling their role of leadership. I see this clearly in Matthew, where Jesus speaks the eight woes against the spiritual leaders of God’s people. Here is one example, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13, NASB95). We who are teachers and leaders in society must understand that we ultimately fulfill that role under God’s supervision. If we are responsible for leading His people astray we will be held accountable.
Second, Isaiah tells His people (the ones being falsely led) to be discerning. He tells them to be true to His word and not to let the leaders lead them astray and teach them falsely. Friends in Christ, it is vitally important that we are in the word of God so that we can discern truth from falsehood when it is spoken by those who lead us. We have to distinguish between the true and the false guides. In this way, we can protect ourselves (our souls) from being misled by them.
What this all means is that there is a right and a wrong. There is a right path to be following, and there are wrong paths to be following. Which path are you on today? Are the leaders you are listening to leading you down a godly path? Today, I pray that we gain the spiritual discernment necessary to distinguish between the right and wrong leaders and the right and wrong paths.