THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
VI. God's Judgment For Trusting In Man Versus God, Isaiah 2:22-4:1
A. God's Judgment For Trusting In Man's Social Order Versus God
A. Everywhere we look in today's world, the threat of the breakdown in man's social order abounds.
B. Isaiah 2:22-3:11 reveals this is not a surprising mistake, but God's discipline for an errant trust in man versus a trust in God, and this passage offers a wonderful, motivating promise for believers who live in today's world:
II. God's Judgment For Trusting In Man's Social Order Versus God, Isaiah 2:22-3:11.
A. Isaiah's Isaiah 2:22 admonition to stop trusting in man that summarizes the Isaiah 2:6-21 general exposure of Judah's sins also acts to introduce Isaiah 3:1-4:1 where God focuses on specific sins caused by this errant trust in man versus the correct trust in the Lord, Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, volume I, p. 135.
B. Thus, to reveal the futility of trusting in the social order itself, God predicted in Isaiah 3:1-3 NIV that He was about to remove that protective social order, what would produce anarchy in society (as follows):
1. Having called them to stop trusting in man as he was of no account (Isaiah 2:22), the "Lord God of hosts," a title reminding Judah that God was sovereign in her affairs, then said He would take away from them 'every kind of stay and staff' of their social order, Isaiah 3:1a; Ibid., p. 138.
2. Specifically, God would remove bread and water, "indispensable" provisions for life, Isaiah 3:1b; Ibid.
3. He would remove their military protection, from military leader to common soldier, Isa. 3:2a; Ibid., p. 139.
4. God would also remove judge and prophet needed for legal and spiritual order and welfare, Isaiah 3:2b.
5. The Lord would remove the diviner (KJV "prudent"), an unbiblical office but one nonetheless used by the people, and the elder of the people needed for basic social stability in the community, Isaiah 3:2c; Ibid.
6. God would remove officials over fifty and other men of authority and responsibility capable and necessary for law and order, Isa. 3:3a, and counselors needed for imparting practical wisdom, Isa. 3:3b; Ibid., p. 140.
7. Skillful craftsmen (KJV "cunning artificer") would be removed and expert enchanters (KJV "eloquent orator"), an unbiblical calling but one used in Judah, would God remove, Isaiah 3:3c; Ibid., p. 141-142.
C. In place of such crutches of the social order, God would make boys Judah's princes and children her rulers (Isa. 3:4), a prediction fulfilled in Manasseh's reign when he began to rule at age 12 followed by the politically immature reigns of Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isaiah 3:4.
D. Consequently, the people of Judah would begin to oppress one another in socially appalling ways, with the young rising up to harm the old and the base rising up to harm the honorable, Isaiah 3:5.
E. This social disorder would make life so dreadful that men would try to install each other as leaders of their ruined society, but no one would want to rule as he had no means to provide for any improvement, Isa. 3:6-7.
F. God explained He would allow this social disorder to arise as judgment on Judah's many sins that the people had committed without shame as in the case of the men of Sodom, Isaiah 3:8-9 in light of Genesis 19:4-11.
G. Yet, though the social order would fail due to Judah's sins, its calamity would befall only individual sinners where blessing would come to those individuals who had lived righteously before the Lord, Isaiah 3:10-11:
1. God told Isaiah to tell righteous individuals who, in the context, had recalled they were accountable to obey the Lord to be blessed, that life would go well for them amid the coming social disorder, for the Sovereign Lord would cause them individually to be blessed by eating the fruit of their deeds, i. e., to be rewarded for their good works [in fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant], Isaiah 3:10 [with Deut. 28:1-14].
2. However, there would be woe for the wicked who had ceased to see their accountability to God for blessing, for the evil their hands had dealt toward others would be dealt back unto them [in fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant], Isaiah 3:11 [with Deut. 28:15-25 et al.].
H. These predictions were fulfilled in the Babylonian invasion, seen in what befell Ebed-melech (Jeremiah 38:7-13 with 39:15-18), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 40:1-6) and Judah's king Zedekiah (Jeremiah 38:19-23; 39:1-8).
Lesson: God called Judah not to trust in the social order itself, but to trust in and hence to heed the Sovereign Lord for blessing. Regardless what happened to the social order, God would bless individuals who heeded this call.
Application: May we not rely on the social order itself for blessing, but trust in the Lord and heed Him, trusting Him sovereignly to bless us as individuals that we might do His will regardless what occurs around us.