In addition to the six woes of Isaiah chapter 5, there are other very pertinent woes brought up in the book of Isaiah. Some things to keep in mind when looking at Isaiah are that the first part of Isaiah deals with the "last days" apostasy of the northern kingdom, Israel. In 722 BC, Samaria (Israel) was overrun by the Assyrians and ceased to be a kingdom. Many of the prophecies in Isaiah represent a "last call" for the people to repent. The people did not listen nor did they have a change of heart.
Living at the same time as Isaiah and proclaiming the same message was the prophet Hosea. In fact, Hosea lived longer and prophesied longer than any other prophet in the Old Testament. Preceding Hosea by about five years, another prophet lived who gave the first warning to Israel. This was the prophet Amos. He was a simple shepherd, but his warnings shed great light on what was happening in Israel about 40 years before it fell to the Assyrians. Many people believe the prophet Micah also lived during this time, but if he did, his ministry was to Judah and not Israel.
An interesting study to do sometime is to read the historical account of this time period in 2 Kings chapters 16-21, and 2 Chronicles chapters 28-33; then read Amos and Hosea and the first 39 chapters of Isaiah (for they deal with the historical account and we know for sure Isaiah wrote them). The Old Testament does not need to be as difficult as people make it if you understand history and read things in chronological sequence instead of the order they are in the Bible.
Israel had a troubled history from its very beginning and unlike Judah, its roughly 200 years of existence was marked by one bad king after another. People like Ahab and Jezebel litter the history of Israel like trash on the highway. Once in awhile a decent king ruled, but by and large Israel was full of idolatry and sin during most of its existence. Hosea's brilliant analogy of Israel being the unfaithful wife (married to God) definitely describes the spiritual state of Israel better than anything. They were guilty of spiritual adultery due to their forsaking God and giving themselves over wholly to idols.
Isaiah pronounces the sins and judgment against numerous countries throughout the book, but mainly toward Israel. In Isaiah chapter 9, the Lord's anger against Israel is covered in great detail. In this context, please look at Isaiah 10:1-4 from the NIV:
"Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,
To deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised."
Oh how I wish verses 1 and 2 could be inscribed on the foreheads of every legislator in the world. Those who make laws, whether secular or religious, should be forced to take a vow that they would uphold Isaiah 10:1 and 2 or be removed from office. The purpose of government, whether secular or religious, should be to uphold the rights of and make sure justice is served for those who are oppressed and who are easily manipulated by others.
Time and again throughout Isaiah, you read about the widows and orphans and how Israel's whole judicial system had become so corrupt that these vulnerable people were being used and oppressed instead of defended and provided for. Poor people who do not have the means to "purchase" a good attorney are almost always deprived justice not only now but 3,000 years ago. As Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun." The same oppressive injustice Isaiah was confronting runs rampant in our legal systems today. I thank God for "Public Defenders", but they are not in the same league as millionaire lawyers who only take the cases of the rich and famous.
Just as I wish the first two verses were engraved on certain people's foreheads in the legislative and judicial branches of government; I wish verse 3 could be plastered on every billboard and every commercial on television. Just where do people think they are going to run to when the day of reckoning comes? Who do think is going to help them? Where do they think they are going to "hide" their money?
Too many naïve people put their trust in the government to take care of them. They mistakenly feel the Almighty Government will come running to their aid when disaster hits. Yes, FEMA has set itself up as god for those poor people who have had their lives ruined by a hurricane, tornado, flood or firestorm. Within hours of a major disaster, FEMA is there as the savior who rode in on their white horses to bring deliverance to those who have lost their homes and jobs. It is absolutely unbelievable how in a matter of 15 years, one government agency has "taken over" disaster relief and succeeded in conditioning people to expect the government to take care of them after any calamity.
The huddled masses in this country and most other "western" countries as well, are being led as sheep to the slaughter by their naïve and ignorant blind trust in their government to be their provider and supplier of all their needs. It is unbelievable how many people literally depend on the government for not only emergency assistance, but daily bread, health benefits, social security and every other morsel of aid they can squeeze out of the Federal Treasury. Politicians are elected and stay in power by their ability to "bring home the bacon" to their districts. How ironic the money in the USA says "In God We Trust"; but in reality we all know most people either trust in money or the Government who printed it.
When the time of reckoning comes for this world, all the money people own won't be able to "save them". When the events recorded in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation begin happening in earnest; no government agency is going to be able to step in and "save" people from the perils written by God that shall happen. The battle all through the Old Testament was for children of Israel not to put their trust and confidence in other countries, but in God to deliver them. The same battle rages for each one of us every day.
The day will come when Jesus Christ will establish His Millennial Kingdom on this earth for 1,000 years. He will rule from Jerusalem as King over the whole earth. For those fortunate enough to rule with him, those 1,000 years will be as a dream come true. Finally, there can be a utopia on earth. With no more corruption and greed to feed the fires of fraud and oppression; there will be honest government administrated by Jesus himself extending over the entire earth. I don't know about you, but I want to be there and enjoy the most unique 1,000 years this world will ever have.
Until that great and glorious day down the road, I pray we all strive to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. That we acknowledge Him in all our ways and allow Him to direct our paths. If we do these things, then we will not only enjoy His blessings, but He will lead us to those who need what we have to share. He will direct our steps to be the greatest blessing possible for whoever needs to get blessed the most.