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Isaiah 3

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Judgment On Jerusalem And Judah (ch. 3:1 - 1:1)     

                          

In verses 1 through 3 we see God's judgment that will come on Judah.  It affects all areas of life.  He'll take away "supplies, support, food, and water". That speaks to Judah's economy.  He will take away "heroes and warriors".  The heroes in those days for the most part were the warriors.  Judah will lose their battles and those who fight their battles.  There will be no heroes for the youth to look up to. God will take away the judge and the prophet.  That part of society that administers justice and help people to be just will fall apart and be no more.   Those of rank and the counselors will be taken from Judah, along with the skilled craftsmen.  You can see that when God judges a nation, He doesn't do it in half way measures.

 

I look at verses 1 through 3 and see how God might well be judging western culture today.  All that is mentioned in these verses are being lost right now in the western world. 

 

In verse 4 when it says, "I will make boys children, their officials", this tells me that good quality leadership in Judah will be a thing of the past.  I think I can safely say that in many respects, western democracies in recent years have had a shortage of quality leaders.  This suggests that judgment has already begun in the western world.

 

Verse 5 says that people will oppose each other.  How true that is today in America and elsewhere.  People oppose each other in words and in actions, even to the point of killing each other.  There is a present day gun problem in America.  This reflects the very thought of this verse. 

 

The verse says that the young will oppose the elderly.  There is little respect for the elderly in our youth driven generation these days. 

 

When it says that the "base will rise up against the honorable", well, I certainly see that in today's western world.  It is the base that are being idolized.  The honorable are being thought of as old fashion and out of step with modern society. 

 

In verses 6 and 7 we see lack of quality leadership again.  People will try to force men to be leaders, but these men are not capable of leading.  He has no qualifications or interest in leading. The political aspect to Judah's existence will simply disintegrate, and that it did.  They could not withstand the attacks of the Babylonians.

 

Verse 8 says that "Jerusalem staggers and Judah falls.  It's like they are drunken men.  They are intoxicated with their own prosperity that is now fading before their eyes. 

 

Verse 8 also says that "their words and deeds defy" their Lord and His presence.  The Lord, once among Israel has long left them.  He is standing back watching and waiting for the time of judgment.

 

Verse 9 is interesting because it shows clearly today's western culture.  "They parade their sin like Sodom".  Obviously this reference to Sodom tells us what kind of sin Judah is parading.  It is sexual sin, and especially, homosexuality.  The internet, the gay pride parades, and the streets of western culture, parade the same sins today.  This parading of sins, according to the Word of the Lord, has brought disaster on Judah.

 

We see in verse 10 that even though the majority are sinful, there is a remnant of righteous people in Judah, as there always is.  God always has a remnant of people who belong to Him, either in Israel or in the church. 

 

Verse 11 begins with "woe to the wicked".  The word "woe" reminds of the "woes" found in the book of Revelation, and it should, because the same God that judged Judah of old will judge Israel and the world in these last days.  I include Israel in the last sentence because part of the reason for the Great Tribulation is to judge Israel one last time.  This judgment will bring her to her knees in repentance so she will be ready to meet her Messiah.

 

Verse 11 says that "they will be paid back".  It is the Lord Himself that will pay Judah back.  As is often said in the Bible, "vengeance belongs to the Lord".  We as believers have no part to play in instituting vengeance.  That is all on God's shoulders.

 

Verse 12 is interesting.  It says that "youths oppress God's people".  It appears that in Judah 's culture, as is ours today, the youth have the upper hand.  They have no respect for their elderly. 

 

The next statement is controversial in our modern times.  It says, and it's in a negative sense, "women rule over them".   Even though God made Eve to stand along beside Adam, as the Hebrew text suggests, in the eyes of God, it appears that women holding places of leadership, and in this case, it looks like political leadership, is frowned upon by God.  I'll let you think that one over.  Maybe you will come up with a different commentary on this phrase.

 

Verse 12 says that "your guides lead you astray".  I believe the "guides" spoken of here, that is, in context, are the youth and the women.  Traditionally, and I believe this was God's will, it was elders, older men, who led Israel , not the youth or women.

 

One reason why woman and youth might have been more predominant in Jewish society back then was seen back in verse 7.  The men were neither interested or properly qualified to lead as they did.

 

In verses 13 through 15 we see God as the judge in a court room, as I stated back in chapter 1, verse 1.  The scene is in God's just court and judgment is about ready to be spoken by the judge.  It is my opinion, as seen throughout the Old Testament, that once judgment is pronounced by God, there is no turning back.  Judgment will come no matter what.  Man can do nothing about it.  God will not change His mind.  Individuals may repent and benefit, at least in part, but judgment will come on the nations.  The nation will not and cannot repent as a whole. It's too late for that.

 

Verses 16 and 17 are directed towards the women of Zion , the women of Judah.  The are haughty and proud, much like many women who are in the cultural spotlight today.  Their pride, according to this verse, is in the sexuality, again, like many women today. Pop stars and movie stars are not necessarily stars because of their singing and acting ability.  They are stars because they are able to promote, boast, show off, their sexuality. 

 

As part of God's judgment on Judah as a whole, verses 18 to 24 tells us how judgment will affect these proud women.  All that was once meant to make them beautiful and sexually attractive will be gone and  replaced what their opposites.  Beyond that, the men belonging to these women, the men they want to attract, will fall by the sword, as seen in verse 25. 

 

I wonder if there might not be a correlation here between the promotion of sexuality by women and the killing of their men at war.  That appears to be what is happening even today. 

 

Verse 26 says that "the gates of Zion will lament".  Their lamenting comes too late.  Judgment has already begun.

 

Chapter 4, verse 1, speaks of 7 women grabbing hold of one man.  There will be many more women than men.  The men will be killed in battle.  The women are desperate.  They're widows. They're single.  They disgraced because they have no children.  

 

At this point I'd like to insert an article I wrote on Isaiah 3. 

 

What Judgment Looks Like

 

Canada, where I live, and the United States, are in the midst of another federal election campaign.  Mounting a campaign for political supremacy isn't for the faint of heart.  It's a rough battle where rules of decency, respect, and truthfulness, are thrown to the sidelines.  The political lines have now been drawn in the electoral sand.  Whatever it takes to win is the only thing that counts.  When it's all said and done, the wounded losers will retreat and prepare for the ongoing fight in parliament or congress.  The winners will hunker down, fortify their defenses, and plan their strategy for the fight that follows.  If those fighting for supremacy only realized that the one they should be impressing isn't the voter but God, they'd be doing themselves a tremendous favour.  Daniel 12:21 states that in countless covert measures (they're my words, not Daniel's), God works behind the scene to cause a nation and its leaders to rise and to fall, according to His sovereign will.  It's called God's judgment on a nation.  

 

For numerous reasons many Christians avoid the prophetic books of the Old Testament.  By so doing they fail to understand and recognize what God's judgment on a nation looks like.  So, when judgment appears on the horizon, they're pathetically unprepared for the rough road ahead.  Isaiah 3 gives us a glimpse of what God's judgment can look like.  Although the specific nation in question is Israel, I believe the judgments seen in Isaiah 3 are applicable to any nation that rejects God.  

 

Isaiah 3:1 to 3 states that God will disrupt a nation's food and water supply.  When agricultural and economic failures plunge a nation into recession or depression, whether it's seemingly due to supply and demand disruptions, global upheavals, or climate change, God's hand of judgment is behind the fallen economy. 

 

Isaiah 3:1 to 3 also states that God will remove the effectiveness of the warrior, the judge, the craftsman, the wise man, and the prophet, from an ungodly nation.  When a nation's military, judicial system, manufacturing sector, and religious institutions, fall into disrepair and becomes ineffective, God's judgment has infiltrated the nation's infrastructure.         

 

Isaiah 3:4 states that God installs youths as national officials.  Children rule the nation.  The installation of incompetent childish politicians is one way God brings a nation down to its knees in judgment. 

 

Isaiah 3:5 states that God causes the citizens of a nation to oppose one another.  Men fight against their fellow man while neighbours are caught in conflict with one another.  When racial, social, economic, and religious, unrest divides a nation, that divided nation will soon fall by the hand of God's judgment.   

 

Isaiah 3:6 and 7 states that an ungodly nation won't be able to conscript quality people to lead it.  When individuals are asked "to take charge of this heap of ruins"(NIV) they will answer by saying "I have no remedy" (NIV).  God's judgment is clearly seen when no one with sufficient intelligence and quality character traits can be found to lead a nation out of its ruins.

 

The Apostle Paul, in Romans 1:24 says that God will hand a society over to the immoral sins it chooses to embrace.  The particular sin he points out is homosexuality.  Isaiah 3:9 tells us that God will hand a nation over to such immorality.  This is seen when its citizens "parade" (NIV) around in their sin, just as " Sodom paraded" (NIV) around in its sin.  When we see a Sodom-like display of public sexuality being paraded around in our streets in annual pride parades, know that God has handed our nation over to its sins as an act of divine judgment.  Then, as Isaiah 3:10 states, woe to those who "parade around in their sin because they will bring disaster upon their nation (NIV)."      

 

The New Living Translation of Isaiah 3:12 is notable in light of our present electoral season.  "Childish leaders oppress my people and women rule over them."  In context, "my people" refers to the nation of Israel , but once again, I believe the judgment seen in this verse can apply to any godless nation.  When childish leaders, and I hesitate to say it, when women rule a nation, as the text puts it, God's judgment is at hand.      

 

Isaiah 3:13 and 14 states that the Lord will take His seat in His court and enter into judgment.  I suggest that you carefully read all of Isaiah 3 for yourself.  Don't take my word on this.  You might well disagree with me on this issue, and that's fine.  Just ask yourself if the judgments you see in Isaiah 3 have any relevance for the western world nations today.  Has God Almighty sat down in His courtroom to judge the nations of the western world?  From my vantage point, I believe He has.  What I see transpiring in the western world today looks very much like the judgments I see in Isaiah 3. 

 

 

 

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