For behold, the Lord God of hosts
is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,[a]
all support of bread,
and all support of water;
2 the mighty man and the soldier,
the judge and the prophet,
the diviner and the elder,
3 the captain of fifty
and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
and the expert in charms.
4 And I will make boys their princes,
and infants[b] shall rule over them.
5 And the people will oppress one another,
every one his fellow
and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the despised to the honorable.
6 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
shall be under your rule”;
7 in that day he will speak out, saying:
“I will not be a healer;[c]
in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
you shall not make me
leader of the people.”
8 For Jerusalem has stumbled,
and Judah has fallen,
because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord,
defying his glorious presence.[d]
9 For the look on their faces bears witness against them;
they proclaim their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
12 My people—infants are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you
and they have swallowed up[e] the course of your paths.
13 The Lord has taken his place to contend;
he stands to judge peoples.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:
“It is you who have devoured[f] the vineyard,
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor?”
declares the Lord God of hosts.
16 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,
17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
24 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.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;
empty, she shall sit on the ground.
Chapter 3 brings to mind a plethora of situations that I have personally gone through…I will not bore with you each individual detail but just let me say, I have a problem trusting God. In my sinful nature, given a choice to figure out a problem with my own resources or cling to God with limitless power, I will choose my own lousy ideas and flimsy notions every single time. Our finances seem to be plummeting…what do I do? I get angry with the people who seem to be causing my problem, I become anxious and overwhelmed trying to maneuver the situation myself, I get frustrated with my husband for not changing the circumstances…but do I ask God for help?….NO. I am struck by some weird unexplainable health problems…what do I do? I complain that I can’t do all the things I want to do, I search every medical website I can think of, I nearly have a nervous breakdown because I get stuck in traffic on my way to a doctor’s appointment and I even fail to thank God when I mysteriously get better because I didn’t find the actual answer for the problem. But it never at any point in that mess occur to me to just trust God.
Isaiah is describing a similar situation in relation to the people of Israel. Time after time God’s people snub their noses at the One true provider and helper because they are trusting upon multiple other sources as their ultimate savior. In reading this chapter I find myself in complete gratitude for God’s mercy upon me because when the Israelites behaved in a similar way, His response was “You want to trust everything else instead of me? What are you going to do when you have none of those things? What are you going to do when you have nothing?” Because they boast in their belongings he takes from them their most basic needs. Because they cling to knowledge, He takes away the wise people who they leaned on for council. Because they trusted in beauty, He stripped away all things of splendor and loveliness.
So the questions I can pose to myself…and to anyone who is reading…What do you trust in more than you trust in God? Do you long for your bank account to grow so that you feel secure and safe? Do you need to get the right diagnosis from the doctor so that you won’t feel worried and anxious anymore? Do you cling to the opinion of man because you can’t seem to see the true value you hold in God? What will you do when all is stripped away from you?…Will it have to come to the point where you are without money, without beauty, without a home, without your health before you truly trust God?