Isaiah: The Disintegration of Zion

Peter Barnes: Isaiah 3:1-4:1

(26 August 2018)


T. S. Eliot: The Church disowned, the tower overthrown,
the bells upturned, what have we to do
But stand with empty hands and palms upturned
in an age which advances progressively backwards?
William Butler Yeats: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. Or we could just recall last week’s news headlines. This will sound as modern as it is ancient.
1. God’s judgment in history.

– Barry Webb: ‘The essential sin of the men was oppression; that of the women was ostentatious vanity.’

– 3:8 explains why this has all happened.

– the Assyrians in 722 B.C. – 2 Kings 17:7-9. Babylon’s destruction of Jerusalem in 587-6 B.C. – Jer.52:1-3. God is the judge of all the peoples (not ‘people’ as in the NIV) – 3:13-15. The result will be invasion and exile – 3:25-26.
2. A godless society disintegrates.

– 3:1-7. Respect for any kind of authority – whether of the police, teachers, or the home – collapses. The loudest voice wins.

– God is punishing a society which turns its back on Him – 3:9. It becomes the age of the youth culture and affirmative action – 3:12.

– the Hollywood catwalk culture – 3:16-17; see Amos 4:1. Contrast that to what God desires in a woman – 1 Pet.3:3-6. The Hollywood red carpet culture will all come crashing down – 3:18-24; 4:1..
3. God preserves a remnant.

– 3:10-11. The righteous in verse 10 are the remnant. Jeremiah lived through the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 587-6 B.C., but even if he had not, he would have gone to be with the Lord. Recall what the risen Christ said to the church at Smyrna – Rev.2:10.