Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah
1 See now, the Lord,
the LORD Almighty,
is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah
both supply and support:
all supplies of food and all supplies of water,
2 the hero and warrior,
the judge and prophet,
the soothsayer and elder,
3 the captain of fifty and man of rank,
the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
4 I will make boys their officials;
mere children will govern them.
5 People will oppress each other—
man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old,
the base against the honorable.
6 A man will seize one of his brothers
at his father’s home, and say,
“You have a cloak, you be our leader;
take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7 But in that day he will cry out,
“I have no remedy.
I have no food or clothing in my house;
do not make me the leader of the people.”
We are still looking at the judgment upon Israel for their sins – get used to it, because Isaiah is a book of rebuke, and contains quite a bit of judgment!
Here, we see that God’s judgment includes a kind of reversing of orders, that those who naturally have authority will lose it, and instead, the young will rule over them. Now, in our modern culture of youth empowerment (and idolatry), this sounds like a good thing: taking the power from these rich old farts and putting it into the hands of the young! Like something you would see in a Pepsi ad… most people would wonder what the problem is!
But this is NOT a positive thing, and not meant as a good development. Older people are supposed to be in authority because their experience has taught them lessons that mere exuberance and idealism cannot impart. It is the way that God has intended things to be. But because our world scoffs at this wisdom, the young rarely respect the old, and the old rarely understand their responsibility to train the young, and both are the worse for it.
The world has a way of doing this, reversing God’s wisdom and replacing it with its latest fashionable (and changable) morality. And it has a way of making it sound so plausible so that we feel foolish for feeling any other way. Be wary of this, and resist it. Trust what God has said, what he has taught, and remember that the reason we don’t trust the wisdom of the world, no matter how plausible, is because “the world” is made up of a bunch of sinful and foolish people who are so short-lived, and have no idea what they’re doing while they’re here.
1. What is one issue or situation where you see a conflict between what the world feels is right, and what God feels is right?
2. What makes the world’s position on this issue so convincing to you?
3. What wisdom do you see in the way that God views that situation or issue?
4. Living out our biblical convictions gracefully is very hard – what helps us balance these in our lives?