Bible: What Does Isaiah 3-6 Teach Us About Divine Judgment and Visions?
Judgment for Impenitent Disobedience
By way of application of this section from Isaiah, do you think God is judging the United States?
Name for the Messiah
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Isaiah 3-6: Judgment is Coming; "In That Day"/Seven Woes/Temple Vision of Yahweh
Indications of judgment upon God's people abound, as Yahweh removes physical, military, moral, and spiritual supports from them.
Experienced, proven, and willing men He replaces with their opposite (vv. 1-7), and the people sin openly with their speech, actions, and even their outward appearance (vv. 8-9).
God announces the respective rewards for the deeds of the righteous and the wicked (vv. 10-11).
Incompetent or improper leadership brings error and judgment (v. 12).
God comes down hard on Judah’s oppressive leadership who, instead of gently guiding and caring for the poor, run roughshod over them (vv. 13-15).
The LORD further indicts the haughty and ostentatious "daughters of Zion," and promises humiliating judgments upon them as they display their finery (vv. 16-25).
He does more "taking away" (v. 18).
Two vastly different conditions will exist "in that day." War will so greatly reduce the male population that females will outnumber them by a 7:1 ratio (v. 1).
Verse 2, however, points out the “flip side” of "that day": the kingdom under the "Branch's" rule will flourish.
The scene depicted focuses on the survivors, the so-called holy ones (vv. 2-3). Mercy and protection from harm will follow destruction and judgment during that time.
Isaiah uses a cloud and smoke, the shining of a flaming fire and a covering—means reminiscent of Israel’s wilderness wanderings—to describe how the LORD will protect or cover His people (vv. 4-6).
In Luke 13:6-9 and 20:9-19 Jesus employs parables similar to the one found here in verses one through seven.
The Well-Beloved (the LORD, the Vinedresser) does everything necessary for Israel's benefit, so that He might rightly expect good things from His people (the vineyard) [vv.1-4a].
Instead, He observes wickedness (vv. 4b, 7). Therefore, He recounts His proposed judgment upon Israel because of their bad "produce" (vv. 5-6).
Several woes follow, indicating these judgments (vv. 8, 11, 18, 20-23).
The first woe condemns their greedy desire to "possess luxurious possessions" (homes and land), and promises both desolation and poor crop yield (vv. 8-10).
The second woe points out their continual drunkenness, their riotous living (partying), and their disregard for God (vv. 11-12).
Verse 13 attributes Israel's captivity to its lack of spiritual and moral knowledge.
Sheol here may mean the grave, but it may also refer to the place where the proud and unbelievers "descend" (vv. 14-15).
This judgment will glorify Yahweh Sabaoth (v. 16), and others will take over the places of the proud (v. 17).
The third woe Isaiah pronounces against those who reveled in sin, because they disbelieved in God's judgment (v. 18).
Those whose moral sense is reversed feel the fourth woe (v. 20), and the fifth alights upon the self-deceived who believe they are full of wisdom, but are not (v. 21).
The sixth and seventh woes affect those who drink alcohol to excess, mix various intoxicants, and distort justice for personal gain (vv. 22-23).
Another "therefore" signpost calls for the drawing of conclusions, starting with verse 24 (cf. v. 13).
Their rejection of God's word will bring terrible judgment from the angry One (vv. 24-25).
The refrain of 5:25b comments upon the continuation of His judgment, and verses 26-30 record God's call to the Assyrian army to come as a conqueror against Israel.
Isaiah pens a vivid description of its impressive speed, stamina and strength.
[Note his emphasis upon its "roaring," as the warriors approach the land of conquest (vv. 29-30)].
Isaiah records the specific time in Israel's history when he received a vision of the majestic LORD, sitting on an exalted throne in the temple, wearing a long-trained robe (v. 1; cf. John 12:40-41).
Surrounding Him and standing above the throne are six-winged seraphim, affirming His absolute holiness.
[The thrice-repeated "holy" may suggest the Triune Godhead (vv. 2-3a), and the parallel structure may explain the relationship of holiness to fullness of glory (v. 3)].
One seraph's voice shakes the temple's doorposts (v. 4), causing Isaiah to become acutely aware not only of his own sinfulness, but also of his unworthiness (and of his people's) to stand before this holy God, even in a vision (v. 5).
What is the remedy for Isaiah's predicament but the purging of his unclean lips by a burning coal (vv. 6-7).
After his cleansing, the prophet and Yahweh engage in a powerful scene in which Isaiah, in response to God's invitation, volunteers to take the LORD's message to His people (v. 8).
Accordingly, Yahweh commands the man of God to preach a word from Him that will cause dullness of understanding in Israel, confirming the hardness of their collective heart (vv. 9-10).
Isaiah asks God how long he would have to preach this message with no favorable response (v. 11a).
The LORD answers, in essence: "Until full judgment is completed" (vv. 11b-12).
God promises to keep a tenth, "the holy seed," for Himself, with which He would start anew when He brought them back to the land (v. 13).
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