Today we continue to study about the consequences of sin. We also see how broken Judah's society had become during Isaiah's lifetime.
Isaiah Chapter 3
Lessons from the text
No Shame, No Guilt, Destruction
In verse 9 God says that Israel was no longer hiding their sin just as Sodom did not hid its sin. Genesis 19:1-9 tells the story of two angels who came to visit Lot, Abraham's nephew, in Sodom. Lot saw them enter the city and begged them to come into his house. Before it was very late, the men of the city, both young and old it says, came and surrounded Lot's house. They demanded that Lot bring out the angels so that they may "know them." Even when Lot offered the men his two daughters, the men preferred sexual interaction with the two male visitors.
What is the horror of this story? Above all else, the men of Sodom where bold enough to make a scene surrounding a house to gang rape two visitors. There was no snagging someone in a dark alley. No attempt at all to conceal what they were doing. I imagine their plan was to commit this act right then and there in the street. And apparently this was common, or Lot would never have begged the visitors to come to his house!
The result of this behavior was destruction for Sodom.
God says that the Israel in Isaiah's days was as bad in their sin.
I want to ask, what about our generation? Where is the shame in sexual relationships outside of marriage? Where is the shame in stealing, lying, or using drugs? No one feels shame anymore, just regret at being caught. It has become so "normal" in our society to commit sin that no one thinks twice about the adulterer, idolater, murderer of children, or homosexual. We need to wake up, call sin what it is, and repent or we will reward evil to ourselves.
Paul warns us in Romans that God can and will hand us over to a reprobate mind if we refuse His sound wisdom (Rom 1:28). He also refers this state of open sin as having the conscience seared with a hot iron (I Tim 4:12). There is a grave danger in growing indifferent to sin. When we hear of a neighbor lost to drug addition, we should be pained in our spirit and at least pray for that person. If a dear friend decides to "try it out" with a partner, we should fear for that person's well-being and try to reconcile them to marriage (Exo 22:16).
As you can tell, I am passionate about this subject. I want to see revival in my time. I want to see every soul I meet know Jesus and make it into Heaven. Turning a blind eye to sin will in no way help a sinner come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In our conduct and life-choices we need to show sinners a better way, God's way, so that on their own they will recognize that their lives are lacking the joy, fullness, and spiritual riches that Christ offers.
Verse 10 says that the righteous will receive the reward of his righteousness. What is the doing of his hands that leads to this reward? Faith.
Being righteous does not mean being the most pious person in the room. Righteousness is determined by our faith in Jesus Christ. The first example of faith justifying a person is Abraham, for when he believed God, it was counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6). Abraham was not righteous, but God called him righteous simply because he trusted God. It's that simple. Put your trust in Christ and you are called righteous in the eyes of God.
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Verse by Verse Commentary
1-8 Continuing from Chapter 2 where God proclaimed that He would bring down the haughtiness of men, here is given a list of judgements against Israel. Noteworthy is the judgement of the upside down society; God made man the head of authority (Gen 2:15, Eph 5:23), yet here we have the men being subservient to children.
This Scripture may be referring to literal children, but I believe we should consider this as a metaphorical statement; those who are immature and the basest of people are the ones given to be Israel's rulers. This certainly seems appropriate when you read about the latter kings of Judah and Israel in II Kings and II Chronicles.
Also noteworthy is the fact that no one wants to rule Israel. Nobody wants the task of healing, or putting back in order, Israel. That reveals how far Jerusalem has fallen socially, economically, and morally.
9 God repeats that the cause of Israel's terrible fallen state is their love of sin. They no longer feel shame or guilt, but openly proclaim their sins. The result is disastrous: they have stored up evil against themselves.
10-11 Opposite to the wicked, the righteous shall see goodness. God then repeats the end result of wickedness. He wants us to clearly understand that it does not pay to do evil.
12 The up-side down society described in the first few verses is reiterated, now adding that women are ruling.
13-15 God says that He has had enough of Judah's sins and will make the leaders give an account for their failure to take care of and provide for their people. Note that the leaders are here referred to as "princes," which appears to be directly opposite of the statement in verse 12 that women ruled. This tension is immediately removed by considering the following interpretation.
When verses 6 and 7 tell us no man was willing to rule, this could mean that no man had enough backbone to stand up and do what was right. Instead of women having positions of power in Judah, God is simply illustrating how out of whack (or ruined) their society had become; children are oppressing adults and men are allowing women to dictate their lives.
Consider how Solomon allowed his heart to be turned away from God by his many wives (I Ki 11:4). In the same way, this verse can be interpreted as husbands listening to and siding with the erroneous idolatry of their wives instead of caring for and leading their wives to God. Now we see that while men held the positions of power, women were the moral leaders at the time and were partially responsible for leading Judah astray.
16-26 God declares judgement on the women of Judah, most likely because they have spiritually led their husbands astray. The women of the time cared about jewelry and were filled with "wanton eyes," a statement indicating that they were constantly desiring physical goods. God says that they were brave in their adoration of physical treasures.
Anything that we love more than God is an idol. God was declaring a wake-up call for the Judean women by striping them of all the things they loved more than God. They trusted in material goods. Jesus tells us to store up treasures in heaven and not treasures of the earth because everything physical can and will be destroyed someday (Mt 6:20-21). God was going to teach these women that truth the hard way by stripping them of everything they thought they had.
Please comment below to tell us what you learned from today's lesson.