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Just as a parent takes away a child’s cell phone or favorite toy to correct their behavior, so God must take a thing away from people to return them to proper actions.
According to Isaiah, food, security, and leadership was destined to become a scarce item in Israel.
1 For now the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts,
is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and staff—
all support of bread,
and all support of water—
2 Warrior and soldier,
judge and prophet,
diviner and elder,
3 Captain of fifty
counselor and skillful magician
and expert enchanter. (Isaiah 3.1-3)
How God is described in the opening verse is worth noting. He is Sovereign. He has supreme rank and power. He is the sole authority.
He is the “Lord of hosts.” The angels, cherubim, seraphim, and other created beings in the heavenly realm recognize God as their Lord.
The hosts of heaven march to God’s direction in perfect obedience.
On the other hand, the very people with whom God called to have a personal relationship turned away from him. They served the gods of the land and committed shameful acts.
God, who has sole authority to rule the earth, is also our heavenly Father. To get the attention of his people, he removed the very things that people depend on for life.
— Food – When the people of God wandered in the wilderness, God let them hunger and later fed them.
“He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8.3).
God is willing to use the lack of food to draw us back from idols to trust in his direction.
— Leadership – Are you frustrated with political leaders? Are you concerned with the judicial system? Do you wish for better spiritual leaders?
If we disregard God’s authority and his right to rule our lives, bad leadership will be one of God’s ways to get our attention and return us to alignment with his will.
Verses 4-5 state the reason for the removal of good leadership in simple language.
4 And I will make boys their princes,
and babes shall rule over them.
5 The people will be oppressed,
everyone by another
and everyone by a neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the base to the honorable. (Isaiah 2.4-5)
Babies were not in control. Instead, adults who acted like babies were.
They used their power to oppress the weak and vulnerable.
There appears to be a crisis of leadership around the world. Military coups, a trend toward autocracy, and self-serving political figures appear in nearly every country.
Corporations are no better and clergy scandals pop up in the news with tragic regularity. The judicial systems of the nations frequently seem to be more about injustice than fairness and equity.
As we view the lack of good leadership, the tendency is to post a complaint on Facebook, gripe to friends, and even protest in the streets.
God has a different point of view. He points the finger of guilt at people like you and me for the lack of good leaders.
For Jerusalem has stumbled
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence. (Isaiah 3.8)
It Isn’t Fair!
It seems grossly unfair for God to remove the necessities of life and good leadership from people. What would seem fair is for the perpetrators of injustice, whether clergy, politicians, business moguls, and such to be punished for their bad behavior.
As we consider Isaiah’s message of our responsibility, this is why being a true prophet has never been a comfortable and easy job.
The people of Isaiah’s day questioned whether his words were from God and quite often opposed him.
What can we learn from Isaiah as we seek to understand his words in chapter 3?
(1) We can choose to move from the language of complaint to the language of commitment.
We can commit ourselves to the Lord, in the same way, the hosts of heaven love and serve him.
We can commit ourselves to help people live in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who will transform them from the inside out.
We can commit ourselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has led men and women to make significant beneficial changes in religion, politics, business, social justice, and education.
(2) We can take contrary action and reverse the theme of verse 8.
Instead of speech and deeds that are against the Lord, we make sure that our speech and actions are aligned with the Lord’s will.
Instead of defying God’s glorious presence, we love and rejoice in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
(3) We can pray for God’s will to be done on earth just as it is accomplished in heaven.
Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15.7).
Jesus exhorts us to live in a friendship relationship with him. He wants us to know and to live according to his direction.
Then, he wants us to ask for what is most on his heart.
No doubt, if we diligently work on these three suggestions, we will be doing God’s will according to the teaching of Isaiah and Jesus.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.