Archive for March, 2012

Isaiah 3:16-17 Material Girls, She’s A Princess

Posted in Culture, Isaiah with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:16-17 Moreover, the LORD said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud and walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, and go along with mincing steps and tinkle the bangles on their feet, therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, and the LORD will make their foreheads bare.”

Isaiah 3 gives insight as to God’s impression of a woman’s pride and seduction. Look at the outflow of pride. It manifests itself in how a woman presents herself. The intent is to overtly flirt, seduce, and attract the attention of men. She takes quick, little steps. She has noise makers on her feet to gain further attention. She seeks to gain attention by visual and auditory distraction.

God is so impressed. Since these women like to hold their heads high, judgment is noted with baldness and scabs on their head.

V. 18-24 “In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, finger rings, nose rings, festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils. Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp; instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.

Thankfully, today’s modern, 21st century woman has evolved from this outward display of materialism. RIGHT! Look at all of this stuff, princess. This was approximately 2,700 years ago. Please don’t misunderstand. Not all who are excessive are prideful and seducers. The issue is not the excessiveness that she is wearing. It is her attitude. What is observed externally is a result of what is going on internally.

God’s judgment hits these ladies where it hurts them the most. Instead of smelling great, there will be a decayed, rotten, putrid stench. Grab some rope instead of a nice leather belt. Scratchy and rough burlap will take the place of fine clothes. What a picture of contrast this presents. Pick your favorite super model. Can you imagine a seductive runway model being bald with scabs on her head? She stinks like rotten fish. And she wears a gunny sack with some rope. That’s hot.

Scripture does have expectations of dress. Again, the issue is the attitude and inner beauty.

1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.

Look at the adjectives in the Greek in regards to clothing. Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.

“Proper” kosmios: well arranged, seemly, modest

“Modestly” aidos: honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect

“Discreetly” sophrosune: soundness of mind, self-control, sobriety, self restraint, temperate, moderation, prudently

1 Peter 3:3-4 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

A woman’s inner beauty is more important than what she wears or how she looks. Her conduct is to be consistent with gentleness, meekness, tranquility, and quietness. This is what is excellent and valuable to God.

Isaiah 3:10-15 One Reaps What One Sows

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:10-15 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him. O My people! Their oppressors are children, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths. The LORD arises to contend, and stands to judge the people. The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people, “It is you who have devoured the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. “What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the face of the poor?” Declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Judgment in the Bible is noted with individuals and with nations. In verses 10-11, the discussion is regarding the individual. In verses 13-15, the issue is with God’s people, Israel. In verse 12, God points out Israel chose human rule instead of the divine. Human rule (children and women) led to destruction, confusion, raiding the poor, and poverty.  Note within these verses 12-15. The leadership plundered the poor; the result was poverty. “You get what you deserve”.

There are two groups of people in the verses above, the righteous and the wicked. The concept of “you get what you deserve” is noted in the New Testament as well in Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. The Bible is consistent with this notion from beginning to end. This ultimately contrasts two groups of people, believers in Christ and those who are not.

How many times has it been stated by the moral man, “I am basically a good person, I help the poor, I haven’t murdered anybody.” These folks proclaim they are not in need of a savior. Atheists will be stunned when they realize there is something and it is the Trinity. Regardless of what they think or believe, judgment will ultimately occur.  The scene is the great white throne of judgment. It is the judgment of those who do not believe Christ died for their sin. Revelation 20:13 …and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. The Bible really says if you do not believe Jesus died for sin that you will go to Hell (Revelation 20:14). There is good news. Jesus’ death on the cross is the payment for sin. His resurrection validates that He has power of death. Death is the penalty for sin. Jesus is the payment for and the power over sin.

Isaiah 3:8-9 Shameless

Posted in Culture, Isaiah with tags , , , , on March 17, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:8-9 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, to rebel against His glorious presence. The expression of their faces bears witness against them, and they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.

V. 8 Why are these bad things happening to Jerusalem and the Southern Kingdom of Israel? Simple, God says their speech and their actions are against the LORD, to rebel against His glorious presence. This statement is not up to interpretation. It is not complicated. It is straight forward.

V. 9 The grammar and semantics in the Hebrew indicate these people are proud and arrogant in their actions. They are going to do whatever they want. They don’t care if any one is watching. Their display is public for everyone to see. There is no sense of shame. Gross selfishness is on display.

The result to the soul is evil and disaster.

Does this blatant and overt display of sin mirror today’s culture? Pick an issue in today’s culture and compare it to today’s cultural standards. I will choose two for the sake of discussion. First is abortion. God considers abortion murder and renders judgment against Ammon (modern day Jordan) in Amos 1:13 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders. In 21st century America, life is a choice. We have laws in place to protect the choice of whether or not to allow a child to live in a mother’s womb.  There is a clear difference in values.

A second issue is the definition of marriage. Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Marriage between a man and a woman is foundational to society as God sees it. Jesus confirms this in Matthew 19:5. The Apostle Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 in 1 Corinthians 6:16. There is no debate from the standpoint of Scripture. Marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Our modern culture is passing legislation from east coast to west coast that says, “No, God is wrong.” The culture is redefining marriage.

When God sees these modern views, He sees deviance. Or shall we dare say, SIN!!!! The culture says, “These are antiquated ways of looking at the issues. Times change.  These are complicated issues. We need to change with the times.” These new cultural definitions, which are at odds with how God sees things, are being passed off as normal. If one disagrees with the culture, that person is a bigot and narrow minded.

Regardless of what the culture thinks, says, or does, God does not change nor do His standards. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Isaiah 3:6-7 Leadership Vacuum

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:6-7 When a man lays hold of his brother in his father’s house, saying, “You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler, and these ruins will be under your charge,” He will protest on that day, saying, “I will not be your healer, for in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you should not appoint me ruler of the people.”

The brother who is a medical professional is captured against his will. The aggressive brother “lays hold” of his brother. The concept is a simple action verb: to catch, handle, lay hold, take hold of, seize, wield, arrest, or catch. Notice the medical brother is under “protest”. He did not want to be there.

There were two kinds of cloaks during Isaiah’s day. Practically, one was a matter of warmth. The cloak was worn on the outside of garments. It was made of thick wool around the body, seaming it at the shoulders, and providing slits for the arms to go through. For many people the cloak was their only form of protection. If a cloak was taken in pledge for a loan, it had to be returned to the owner before nightfall for sleeping purposes (Exodus 22:26-27). For this reason a Jewish court of law would never award a cloak (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

The brother who has a medical background is assumed to be rich as indicated by the cloak. The fact that he has clothing is an indication of comparative wealth (Wycliffe Bible Commentary). The second form of cloak was like a loose dressing-gown with wide sleeves. Luxury cloaks were made of silk. A wealthy person would never think of going out of doors without one (New Manners and Customs of Bible Times).

The word “ruins” implies a mess. It is the Hebrew word makshelah. As defined by Strong’s, it means an overthrown mass, stumbling-block, something overthrown, decay, or ruin thing overthrown (figurative of kingdom). This word indicates the admission of a possible government coup. The youth have revolted against the establishment government.

Human nature is on display. The youth are in charge and it is not working the way they anticipated. Their solution, appoint the rich and blame them. Nice attitude! They are not interested in solving problems. They wanted a change and they got it. Blame the rich…

There is a clear vacuum of leadership. The previously wealthy medical professional wants no part of leadership. “…you should not appoint me ruler of the people.”  There is no wealth or food as indicated by the absence of cloak or bread. No one is willing to take responsibility for the national situation.

Isaiah 3:5 Generation and Class Warfare

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 3:5 And the people will be oppressed, each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; the youth will storm against the elder and the inferior against the honorable.

The verb oppressed, nagas in the Hebrew, is defined in Strong’s Concordance as: to press, drive, oppress, exact, or exert demanding pressure. This is how the people were treating each other. Can you imagine living in a neighborhood where every one treated each other this way? You can forget about borrowing a cup of sugar…

The youth of the day were on the offensive towards older people of society. The word “storm” does not capture the essence of these youngsters. The Hebrew word is rahab. It is used as a simple action verb. It means to behave proudly, act stormily or boisterously or arrogantly, to act insolently, beset, importune. One can imagine the attitude. Their man, their generation is the king. It is their time.

The last comparison is the inferior against the honorable. Those who are disgraced, dishonorable, lightly esteemed, or despised will oppose themselves against those who are heavy, weighty, rich, honorable, and glorious. Simply put, class warfare is the result of youthful and inexperienced leadership.

A contemporary of Isaiah’s was Micah. Micah had these observations and implications on the family. Micah 7:6 For son treats father contemptuously, daughter rises up against her mother, daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household. The children are on the rampage. The father and mother are not honored. It is a breakdown of the family unit and structure.

Prophetically, these things came to pass approximately 100 years later from the time of Isaiah and Micah. These events were fulfilled approximately 600 before the birth of Christ. Moving forward 600 plus years to the ministry of Jesus, He quotes Micah 7:6 in Matthew 10:21 and Luke 12:53.  These words have passed the test of time. Jesus Himself has validated them by quoting.   

Fast-forward to early 21st Century in the Middle East. Are we seeing the seeds of the re-emergence of youth and their desire to take a leadership position? The Arab Spring of 2011 was lead by the students who desire Democracy (so we are told). Does Isaiah 3:5 resemble the current state of affairs in the Middle East? The Bible tells us where this leads when young people are in charge. God Himself says that youthful and inexperienced leadership is a judgment on the people. This is something to monitor and something to think about.


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