A Study in the Word – Isaiah 3:1-4:1

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The means and perpetrators of Israel’s pride and idolatry will be removed from her in the last days.  A heavenly force (“Hosts”) will accomplish and enforce God’s judgment.  As Yahweh upsets and inverts the social order (3:1-4), the social order of Judah will decay into anarchy (3:5-7).  God will target the areas where pride has been manifested: the food and water supply, political and military power centers, the judicial and religious systems, and even the arts (3:1-3).  Chaos will reign.   

Judah is the cause of her own demise (3:8-11).  Pride can easily be seen in speech and action, but Judah’s pride is so pronounced that it can be seen in facial expressions.  They have made no pretense to conceal their pride.  Just as Sodom blatantly and arrogantly displayed its sin (Genesis 13 and 19), so Judah has followed suit: “They have brought evil on themselves” (3:9).  Those who acknowledged the rightfulness of God will be spared (3:10).  Yet if grace is the favor no one deserves, then judgment is what the sinner actually deserves, and “It will go badly with him” (3:11).  Leadership has failed Jerusalem to such an extent that there is no godly leadership present.  God intended His people to be led by godly people, but their leaders have forsaken responsibility, so the people are misguided and confused.  They have lost their purpose and their way (3:12).

A deliberate and formal act of justice in a courtroom is in order (3:13-4:1).  Yahweh is both judge and jury in a scene of gravity and solemnity (3:13).  He sharply questions leaders who not only have failed in their leadership duties, but have been the cause of terrible suffering by the poor (3:14-15).  The mention of the vineyard in 3:14 is a prelude to the parable of the vineyard in Chapter 5.  The women of the city also come under the condemnation of the Lord.  They are guilty of pride and arrogance observable in their dress and mannerisms (3:16).  Things which they sought to enhance their beauty (3:17-23) will be replaced with ornaments of shame (3:24).  So many men will fall under the sword that women will fight for the attention of one man (3:25-4:1).  Where can they turn?

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University.  Email: dm5867se@outlook.com

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