What fate awaited Jerusalem and Judah?
A day was coming when God would take away from the nation all of the things in which they were trusting, including bread and water (3:1), leaders and warriors, and judges and prophets (3:2). A day was coming when Jerusalem and Judah would experience a crisis in leadership. God would remove the supports of Judah’s political structure (3:1-3). The administration of the country would fall into the hands of incompetent and inexperienced weaklings (3:4). As a result, there would be a collapse of law and order and anarchy would reign (3:5). The people would search in vain for a competent leader (3:6-7). Jerusalem and Judah would come to ruin because of their rebellion against the Lord. (3:8). The wicked would also come to ruin, but the righteous would be rewarded (3:9-12).
What charge did God bring against Judah‘s leaders?
God charged Judah’s leaders with abusing and crushing the weaker members of society. They failed in their responsibility to care for God’s vineyard. Their houses were filled with the plunder of the poor. They had abused their judicial and political power to feather their own nests. They made life miserable and unbearable for the weaker members of society. They had failed in their social and moral responsibilities.
Practical Consideration: God takes notice of how leaders use their position, power, and influence.
The elders and princes of the people abused their power with impunity. They crushed the weaker members of society for their own selfish gain. They thought nothing of destroying people and families in their pursuit of wealth. God however, took notice of the plight of the poor and served notice to the elders and princes that He would contend with and judge them for their abuses.
What fate awaited the women of Jerusalem?
Isaiah had a stern message for the proud “daughters of Zion“ who profited from their husband’s crimes (see also Amos’ message to the women in the Northern Kingdom in Amos 4:1-3). The wealthy women were guilty of proud, sensual, self-serving behavior. They proudly displayed their wealth in their adornment as they pranced through the streets of the city. Isaiah prophesied that they would be stripped of their fine clothing and cosmetics and wear sackcloth instead. Their heads would be covered with scabs and many would become bald. The men of the land would be slain in battle and those remaining would receive numerous proposals for marriage by women seeking to escape the shame of being unmarried and childless.