The Expository Files

Bed Too Short, Covers Too Narrow

Isaiah 28:20

"For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it" (Isaiah 28:20).

Have you ever been summoned to sleep in a bed that produced such miserable conditions that you found it impossible to rest? What could be more grueling than a bed that is too short and to top it off, barely enough cover to keep it warm?! I remember well as a young person, sleeping at my grandparents house in Comanche, Texas during the winter time. Ma would pile about 5 or 6 home made quilts on top of me and to get warm I would curl up almost into a ball. However, time created heat and I would begin to stretch out only to learn that my feet hung off the bed! (I was a tall boy!). And it was miserable.

There's a spiritual application here. Many times, people who are living contrary to the will of God are made miserable by the teaching and application of his word. People who are living in adulterous relationships are offended and are made miserable by the fact that they are not approved of God because of their compromise and rebellion. As long as his word is preached there is just no place to rest. The same is true for those who teach and practice false doctrine. To hear the plain commands of God is a slap in the face of sectarianism. They will disclaim what they hear, explain it away, and try their hardest to ignore it, but the conscience just won't let it go. It becomes a miserable place to stand when you are on the opposing side to truth. People who are rebuked for supporting abortion are often made to feel uncomfortable for the same reasons. It is cutting to hear that abortion is the legal murder of innocent human beings! People who embrace this barbaric concept of humanity just don't want to hear what God has to say about it. Again, people who are active deviant sex practitioners or those sympathetic to this sinful lifestyle are made uncomfortable by the words of Jehovah as he condemned Sodom & Gomorrah and the word of Paul as he details the sins of the Gentile world in Romans 1. They argue and fight against what is taught from God's word by appealing to the heart strings of the general public. They fill our judicial system with law suits and shake their head in disgust to God's condemnation of deviant sex. Nevertheless, it does not change what the truth is.

It may be a big pill to swallow, but God will accept nothing less than man's obedience to his word. It matters not what public opinion or personal persuasion may be. These press on every side of man, and yet, God is the ultimate one we must answer to. "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but he who judges me is the Lord" (1 Corinthians 4:3-4).

By Tony Ripley
From Expository Files 6.7; July 1999