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 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; 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.
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 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 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.
Can you recognize the judgment that has come upon the nation of Judah and her capital city, Jerusalem, for the mistreatment of its citizens? Isaiah warns that there will be a shortage of food, water, and competent government leaders, as well as military commanders, judges, church leaders, advisors, and even those involved in the art of deception. They will be deprived of godly, capable leaders in all these areas. In their place will rise up immature, child-like leaders to rule over them.
To make matters worse, oppression and conflict arise between the people; the youth disrespect their elders, and men of good reputation are treated with contempt and disdain. Does any of this sound familiar? Not only are we seeing shortages in our food supply, but we suffer from a vast poverty of righteous men to lead this nation. That includes those who practice the art of deception, as in the Media. Not to mention the incredible insolence and rebellion of the younger generation on the streets of our nation, and the deplorable treatment of the Attorney General of this nation by members of Congress.
Isaiah's pronouncement of God's judgment is against a sinful and rebellious Judah. And remember, that God never changes. Because of our rebellion against YHWH's righteousness [through our practices of abortion, sex trafficking, pornography industry, and general immorality and debauchery], might we not expect God to bring judgment upon our nation by imposing ungodly, incompetent leaders, resulting in a breakdown of order in our society? We are certainly seeing it in cities like Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis! Oppression among the people is evident everywhere!
As verse 6 shows us, the people become so desperate for a return to normalcy, that they will accept even the smallest image of competency as qualifications of a leader. But things have deteriorated so badly, that no man wants the job. The words and deeds of people declare their rebellion against God, and sin is openly displayed; there is no shame or recognition of their offense against YHWH. But we cannot blame God for the mess we're in; we've brought it upon ourselves. God just left this nation to the desires of its heart.
We are a nation that revels in its prosperity. But the leaders have become rich on the impoverishment of its citizens. The middle class is disappearing and the rich get richer. The Lord asks, "What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the face of the poor?" A nation such as this will find themselves subject to the judgment of the Lord God. And I find it interesting that the prophet Isaiah spends a good portion of his prophecy warning against the gluttony and haughtiness of the women of Judah. I can certainly attest to the change in attitude and of women in my lifetime. I lived through the "Women's Liberation" era that fostered the intellectual concepts that women were equal to men; that they had a right to do with their bodies as they wished; to seek after power and influence; and that in the end, they didn't really need men to be whole or successful or fulfilled as women. Somewhere I have read that when the women of a culture become degenerate and ungodly, then the hope for the next generation is gone. But when the women of a culture turn to the Lord and His ways, then there is hope for the future.
Please, do not misunderstand me -- I do not subscribe to women being mindless subjects of men. But our God has designed us all, both men and women alike, with a purpose for His Kingdom, and we are the most fruitful for the Kingdom when we honor and respect each other, seeking to raise Godly children together, and to glorify the Lord in humility and service. Outward appearances; lust for power and luxury; and rebellion instead of obedience, never result in a thriving culture.
So, while I hope and pray that God will grant us mercy, I recognize that, by His Holy standards, this nation deserves any judgment He might decide to inflict upon us. I hope that a great revival might sweep this land, but I'm afraid I'm not as clear on that probability as many of today's modern prophets. I certainly do not see that prophecy in the Bible. There are plenty of prophecies of revival and reformation from the Old Testament prophets, but my discernment reveals them as pertaining to Israel and/or Jerusalem. That being said, I DO take great comfort and hope in Isaiah 3:10, Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
We know, that as the truly righteous, we do not share the same fate as the wicked and rebellious. I believe God's promises to protect and bless those who obey His commandments. If we truly "Seek the Kingdom first [make it our priority] and righteousness, all our needs will be met". That includes safety in times of peril; nourishment in times of impoverishment; health in times of illness; and faith in times of doubt and unbelief. We will receive the rewards of our work on behalf of the Kingdom; if not in the present, then certainly in eternity.
In summation, we must not ignore the righteous standards God has established since the beginning of time. And we must understand that He is a Righteous and Just God, and judgment is coming on those nations that do not turn away from rebellion against Him and His holy principles. I know that Isaiah 3 is aimed at Judah and Jerusalem, but we are foolish if we are unable to look in the mirror and see the unsettling likeness. God will not cut us any slack! Lord God, deliver us from our rebellious nature and flagrantly and obstinately refusing to change our course of action. Have mercy on us!
Matthew 5:44-45 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,