Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Isaiah chapter 3

To fully appreciate chapter 3 we have to start with the verse that ends chapter 2. Verse 2:22 says "STOP REGARDING MAN WHOSE BREATH IS IN HIS NOSTRILS FOR WHY SHOULD HE BE ESTEEMED?"

This verse is the beginning of a thought that starts chapter 3 and ends in verse 3:3. In these verses Isaiah tells them, in a sense, that they are impressed by the wrong things and the wrong people. He tells them that all men will fail them.The God of the universe was going to remove any and all things that they regarded as important. He starts with their food and water and moves on to their important people. Notice, the common man is not mentioned here. It is only people who would be thought of by the general population as important. The Mighty men, the judges, the deviners, the elders, the counselors and expert artisans. ( by the way; all of the expert artisans, mighty men, captains ect.  were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar in the captivity of Jahoiachin. Read it in 2Kings 24:14 )

Verse 3:4, "I will make mere lads their princes, and capricious children will rule over them" 
The extreme youth of the kings that came after Hezekiah fulfilled this prophesy. Only one was as old as twenty five when he became king:

Jahoahaz was 23  (2Kings 23:31)
Amon was 22 (2Kings 21:19)
Zedekiah was 21 (2Kings 24:18)
Jehoiachin was 18 (2Kings 24:8)This guy only reigned 3 months before Nebuchadnezzar took him and all the gold and silver from the temple.
Manasseh was 12  (2Kings 21:1) This guy was their wickedest king. Tradition says that he was responsible for having Isaiah sawn in two, which is what Heb. 11:37 is referring to. 
and Josiah was 8 (2Kings 22:1) In 2Kings 23:25, we are told that there was no king like Josiah, ever, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul and being. 

The point Isaiah was making was that their rulers were weak, unmanly and they acted like little children. 

In verse 3:5, he says everyone will be about his own interests above anyone elses. They will all oppress each other, not just ignore or not care about, but they will all take advantage of each other in a ruthless way.

The children will be insolent and disrespectful. There will be no honor or respect for the elderly. Basically, he is telling them that the norms of society would fall apart. Notice::: God is giving us the signs of a society in trouble.

Verses 3:6-7, says, a man will lay hold of his brother because his clothes are in better condition than some around him. He tries to make him King. (he wanted to make him king because he wanted his brother to provide for him). It was the kings job to see that everyone had enough to eat and clothes to wear  In verse 3:6 the brother says No,  he protests with emotion,  I can't fix your problems, I can't be king because I have nothing to eat or wear either. I have nothing stored up.

3:8 "Jerusalem is ruined, Judah has fallen." this was spoken this way to convey the certainty of it happening . They have sinned with their tongues , their actions have provoked the "eyes of His glory" They knew He was always watching and they did not care.

3:9 In verse 9, Isaiah again uses Sodom as an example to them. He says they display their sin as Sodom did (a great insult). If you haven't read the story of Sodom yet, it is worth reading. (Gen 19:1-29) Once you understand the history of Sodom, you will understand  exactly what Isaiah is talking about. They had reached a very grave level of depravity.

In verse 3:12, Isaiah starts this verse with a lament, as if he is speaking the fear and loss he feels in his soul to himself, but out loud. "Their oppressors are children and women rule over them" What he is really saying is ; They are being oppressed by youths who are so unmanly that they still need their mothers to guide them. Then he addresses them directly. "O, my people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse (literally; swallow up)  the direction of your paths." He was still trying to get the people to listen.

In verses 3:13-15, we see the great sin here. We see the sin that brings the almighty God to His feet!!! 
He is no longer sitting on His throne. He stands to judge the monarchy of the people of Israel . This is powerful, confrontational and serious. What Sin has brought Him to His feet? The oppression of the poor! 

Isaiah says; "it is you who have devoured up the vineyard" In Exodus 23:10-11 they were told to give the land a rest, once every 7 years so that the poor could eat  freely and the land could be refreshed. In 2Chron. 36:21, we find out that they never did give the land it's rest!!!  They were in exile for 70 years "until the land had enjoyed it's sabbaths"

side note!! Reread 2Kings 24:14, the end of it says " none remained except the poorest people of 
the land". Think about it, all the royal people, the rich people, the important people, were all gone. The fields, vineyards and olive groves were now left unattended. The lavish as well as the common homes, were now empty and their owners were gone. Some places would have been burned, but I'm sure, that there were still many, many things that the poorest of families would have rejoiced to have. Open fields to eat from, clothes and blankets and blessed shelter. It could have been a time of rejoicing for the poorest of people once everyone else was gone. GOD IS SO GOOD.....I think the end of  verse 3:14, can be taken 2 ways; "the plunder of the poor is in your houses"

 Back to chapter 3, verse 3:15, A standing, almighty God says to them "What do you mean by crushing My people, and grinding the face of the poor?" Read Exodus 22:22-27. The beautiful, loving heart of the Lord talks about how the people were to treat the poor. In those days many of the poor were widows and orphans. These were people with no husband or father to care for them.  In Exodus 22:22-27, the Lord also says what He will do to them if they are not kind to these people.

From verse 3:16 to the end of the chapter, Isaiah addresses the women.
In verse 3:16 the Lord said
 "Because the daughters of Zion are proud, (or like men)
And walk with out stretched necks and seductive eyes, and go along mincing steps (in a childish way) and tinkle the bangles on their feet". Because of these things, He says He will afflict them.

The point that Isaiah is making here is that the women were dressing and acting immodestly to attract the attention of men

One day while I was waiting for the school bus to arrive , I heard some one teaching on the radio. He was discussing the fact that "pretty" was dead. No girls want to be pretty anymore. Everyone wants to be "hot". His point was that "pretty" invokes a desire to protect innocence, while "hot" invokes just the opposite response, especially in men.    

Please don't miss the point!  The rest of this chapter is awesome because Isaiah details all the clothing, jewlery, head dresses, veils, perfume boxes they wore around their necks,  dangling earrings, mirrors, purses, finger rings, nose rings, undergarments and turbins! It's all so fascinating. He finishes by telling them that God is taking all that stuff away. He says they will smell bad and they are going to loose all of their precious treasures and be branded and bald. The men that they worked so hard to impress will be killed by the sword in battle and these grand ladies would be sitting in the dirt in deep grief.

Judea captured, note the Jewish woman sitting on the ground.
But the important thing to remember here  is... that in verse 3:16 the Lord said that all this would happen to them because of their proud, immodest ways. It does not please the Lord if a woman dresses to look "hot" or sexy. And, please look down at the beautiful little faces that look up at you and see your daughters as the women they will be. Teach them with these verses. The Lord is not pleased with the way our society encourages women to dress to be sexy. Help your daughters to avoid popular culture. Be very careful with the T.V. they watch and the music they listen to.

So, all you wonderful ladies,

Dress to please the KING OF KINGS, He is "faithful and true"(Rev.19:11)

This is an incredible chapter. We can see the things that brought their society to ruin and captivity.
I pray that we will all be changed forever by the study of this book! Keep reading your bible. Start chapter 4 if you haven't already. Read it as many times as you can. There will be about a week delay in the posting of chapter 4. I am going out of town with my husband for a few days.

God Bless all of you ladies. I am praying for all of you!