9 The look on their faces testifies against them;
they parade their sin like Sodom;
they do not hide it.
Woe to them!
They have brought disaster upon themselves.
10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!
They will be paid back for what their hands have done.
12 Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
O my people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.
13 The LORD takes his place in court;
he rises to judge the people.
14 The LORD enters into judgment
against the elders and leaders of his people:
“It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people
and grinding the faces of the poor?”
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
Again…some more judgment. Reading so many pronouncements of judgment can get a little old at times, and seems to reinforce a stereotype that a lot of non-Christians (and Christians) have about faith – that it’s all judgment. God is so mean, and is just out to get us. And it is possible to get that kind of vibe when you read certain passages.
But this passages is good reminder that judgment is a kind of RESPONSE. God’s heart is not to judge without any kind of reason – he does so in response to the evil that we perpetrate. That is what we read in this passage:
“They have brought disaster upon themselves”
“They will be paid back for what their hands have done”
“It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses”
When we read about judgment, it doesn’t really make sense to say, “Why, God, WHY??” Because the response is pretty clear – we earned it. But the better, and more final answer, is that the judgment of God is restorative, is designed to fix, not terminate (remember, this is what we read in the first chapter of Isaiah, in this devotional).
1. Do you remember a time where you feel like God was judging you?
2. Do you think his judgment came in response to anything you were doing (that you probably shouldn’t have been)?
3. Have you ever realized that a tough situation in your life was really YOUR doing, rather than the fault of another?