The Downward Spiral of Human History- Isaiah 3 and 4
Ultimate fruit of sin is that God removes from the land the things in which we trust:
Invading armies capture the leaders- supply and support
UNLESS GOD PROVIDES.... THERE IS NO PROVISION
UNLESS GOD PROTECTS.... THERE IS NO PROTECTION
For behold, the Lord God of hosts
is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,
all support of bread,
and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier, SIN LEADS TO AN ABSENCE
the judge and the prophet, OF LEADERSHIP
the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty
and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,YOUTH TAKE OVER WHO
and infants shall rule over them.HAVE NO EXPERIENCE/ NO REGARD
And the people will oppress one another,
every one his fellow NO LEADERSHIP LEADS TO
and every one his neighbor; ANARCHY
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the despised to the honorable.
For a man will take hold of his brother
in the house of his father, saying:
“You have a cloak;
you shall be our leader,
and this heap of ruins SUCH A CHILLING LINE- WASTELAND
shall be under your rule”;
in that day he will speak out, saying:
“I will not be a healer;
in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
leader of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.
For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
DEFIANT GODLESSNESS- BRAZENNESS AND SHAMELESSNESS
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
My people—infants are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you
and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
The Lordhas taken his place to contend;
he stands to judge peoples.
The Lord will enter into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:
God enters into judgement against the elders/princes “It is you who have devoured the vineyard”
“It is you who have devoured the vineyard,
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor?”
declares the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet,
therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
In that day the Lord will take awaythe finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
and instead of a belt, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty.
Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle.
And her gates shall lament and mourn;
empty, she shall sit on the ground.
And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”
CHAPTER 4 - Oh how we cry out for this beautiful promise! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy.There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
If you sit down and read Isaiah 1-4 in one sitting- you see the pattern.
Sin and Rebellion- even when we should know better
Pain and Suffering- as a blessing to capture our need to repent
Repentance and Restoration- and a promise one day to be permanent
Remember Jim Elliot:
"He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
We need to join Him today while the offer of free mercy is available- the winning team should be obvious- we have all of human history to teach us these things are still true even 3,000 years later!