Woe to you who join house to house, and add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!
Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.
We live in a patio home with a zero lot line. Our next door neighbor’s house is 10 feet from ours. Our south wall is her north property line. Her back porch is very near to our bedroom window. That’s not normally a problem. But once in awhile her conversations come wafting across the property line and we are very aware of having a neighbor close by. It is mildly annoying occasionally, but not a call for woe! That is not Isaiah speaks of here.
Or is it? Our propensity to navigate through life in a spirit of self-reliance and self-sufficiency can actually take us out of relationship with others. We can miss the opportunities God gives us to show his love to a neighbor. But if we are insulated from others, or see them only as bothersome, we will forfeit enjoying and expressing his goodness, grace, and love.
Some would say that God’s great desire is for us to experience financial and worldly wealth in the fullness of prosperity. That is precisely what God warns against here! When people are replaced by things like houses, money, or our privacy, we have traded a true blessing for fool’s gold. God wants much better for us.