God’s Word of Justice
Isaiah 3:1-15: Today we begin reading excerpts from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The book is named for a great prophet who lived in Jerusalem in the latter half of the eighth century B.C. The prophet called the people and their leaders to a life of righteousness and justice, and he warned that failure to listen to God would bring doom and destruction. Today’s reading begins with an oracle of judgment against Jerusalem and Judah and concludes with the way in which the LORD will judge the people.
Chaos in Jerusalem
1Now the Lord, the Almighty Lord, is about to take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything and everyone that the people depend on. He is going to take away their food and their water, 2their heroes and their soldiers, their judges and their prophets, their fortunetellers and their statesmen, 3their military and civilian leaders, their politicians and everyone who uses magic to control events. 4The Lord will let the people be governed by immature boys. 5Everyone will take advantage of everyone else. Young people will not respect their elders, and worthless people will not respect their superiors.
6A time will come when the members of a clan will choose one of their number and say to him, “You at least have something to wear, so be our leader in this time of trouble.”
7But he will answer, “Not me! I can’t help you. I don’t have any food or clothes either. Don’t make me your leader!”
8Yes, Jerusalem is doomed! Judah is collapsing! Everything they say and do is against the Lord; they openly insult God himself. 9Their prejudices will be held against them. They sin as openly as the people of Sodom did. They are doomed, and they have brought it on themselves.
10The righteous will be happy, and things will go well for them. They will get to enjoy what they have worked for. 11But evil people are doomed; what they have done to others will now be done to them.
12Moneylenders oppress my people, and their creditors cheat them.
My people, your leaders are misleading you, so that you do not know which way to turn.
The Lord Judges His People
13The Lord is ready to state his case; he is ready to judge his people. 14The Lord is bringing the elders and leaders of his people to judgment. He makes this accusation: “You have plundered vineyards, and your houses are full of what you have taken from the poor. 15You have no right to crush my people and take advantage of the poor. I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, have spoken.”
Today’s Key Verse: Isaiah 3:10
The righteous will be happy, and things will go well for them. They will get to enjoy what they have worked for.
How will the LORD deal with the people’s disobedience and why are they doomed (verses 1-9)?
What are your thoughts about these punishments? Reread verses 13-15. What accusations are brought against the nation’s leaders? What does today’s reading teach you about God’s justice?
Almighty God, you are righteous in all your judgments. Teach me to obey your laws so that I may serve you in ways that reflect your love and glorify you. Amen.
Isaiah 5:1-30: Injustices are denounced.