Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reflection - The Women of Jerusalem (Isaiah 32:9-14)

Source Website: http://jaymack.net/isaiah-commentary/Fz-You-Women-Who-Are-So-Complacent.asp
Posted by The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack, You Women Who Are So Complacent, Isaiah 32: 9-14


Isaiah, the prophet calls on the women to begin to mourn for the land about which they feel so confident.
PHOTO: Isaiah, the prophet calls on the women to begin to mourn for the land about which they feel so confident. Those women are living in such a self-confident state that they fail to see the coming judgment and the calamity that will come with it.  Isaiah says that their complacency is terribly misplaced, for in only one year, all that will change. The agricultural disaster about to come on them is not only of a mere physical disaster, but speak also of the spiritual condition of the nation. The nation has trusted in all the wrong things and will become barren and unproductive. The bad leaders and counsellors have exhibited a spirit of confusion, self-service and rebellion, resulting in disaster and profound insecurity. (Isaiah 32:9-14).
God has something in mind that will make possible true productivity and security, namely, his own "Spirit". Just as rain falls and springs formerly barren earth to life, so the Spirit will fall on barren hearts and produce what the covenant requires--justice and righteousness. Those on whom the Spirit falls will be able to live in continual "quietness and confidence (trust)". Their "homes" will be places of peace, security and rest. Such rest cannot be disturbed by physical disaster, unlike the rest and peace of the world. Resting in the Spirit of God, they have inner resources of blessing that transcend the changing physical and material world. (Isaiah 32:15-20). [2]
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Isiah points out an area of sin that will be punished, the false security of Judah’s women. They were representative of the attitude of Judah in general.

"You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!" (Isaiah 32:9). He calls these Jewish women to listen and to hear. While there is nothing inherently wrong with ease and security, they are destructive when based on a false premise (Amos 6:1). Those women were living in such a self-confident state that they failed to see the coming judgment and the calamity that would come with it. Throughout the Scriptures, the recurring question is, where is your trust?


 You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!


PHOTO: "You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!" (Isaiah 32:9). Those women were living in such a self-confident state that they failed to see the coming judgment and the calamity that would come with it. They were representative of the attitude of Judah in general, and will be punished.
Unconventional LDS (Latter-day Saints) Artwork by James C. Christensen for Young Women - "Arise and Shine Forth"
Picture posted by Explore these ideas and more!, Pinterest

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The devastation would begin soon, in little more than a year Assyria would invade Judah in 701 BC. At that time, those very women who felt so secure would tremble. The grape harvest would fail and the harvest of fruit would not come (Isaiah 32:10). So the first evidence of judgment would be the failing harvest of the grapes and other fruit as the Assyrians would overrun their fields. It is as if Isaiah was saying, “You may rejoice now, but what about next year when the harvest fails?” It is easy to trust in our circumstances, assuming everything will go unchanged. Trust in God, however, raises us above our circumstances.


 It is easy to trust in our circumstances, assuming everything will go unchanged.


PHOTO: It is easy to trust in our circumstances, assuming everything will go unchanged. But the grape harvest would fail and the harvest of fruit would not come as the Assyrians would overrun their fields. (Isaiah 32:10). To raises us above our circumstances we have to trust in God and not in any other false promises.
Painting by William Brassey Hole (1906) - The wedding at Cana of Galilee
Picture posted by Truthbook, Discover Jesus in The Urantia Book

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The prophet called on the women to begin to mourn for the land about which they feel so confident. Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! The harvest time was supposed to be especially joyful. Here, Isaiah’s words would have been especially painful. Particularly in happy times, we do not like to be reminded that death stares us all in the face. Isaiah would not let the women of Judah escape the reality of the coming judgment. Thus, because of the coming disaster, the women are told to strip off their clothes and put on sackcloth around their waists (Isaiah 32:11).



Isaiah called on the women to begin to mourn for the land about which they feel so confident.


PHOTO: Isaiah called on the women to begin to mourn for the land about which they feel so confident. Because of the coming disaster, the women are told to strip off their clothes and put on sackcloth around their waists and start the mourning. (Isaiah 32:11).
"At that time, the Lord will take away the finery of the ankle bracelets, headbands, crescents, pendants, bracelets, veils, headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume boxes, charms, signet rings, nose rings, fine robes, capes, purses, mirrors, linen garments, tiaras, and veils." (Isaiah 3:18-23). The women were told not to wear extravagantly but simply and adequately.
Picture posted by Alexey Barinov on 24 August 2016
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The grape harvest was the basis of their economy, and its failure would cause Judah’s women to mourn for the land in which they had placed their confidence. Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines (Isaiah 32:12). It seems that it was common for women in the ancient Near East to bare their breasts and put sackcloth around their waists during mourning. In Isaiah 3, highly sexualized punishments including a promise that The Eternal one “will lay bare their secret parts,” (Isaiah 3:17 JPS Tanakh 1917) while Isaiah 32 reads “She stripped herself naked and girded her loins.[5]  These two passages both describe incredibly painful, difficult and humiliating punishments. [4]


 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines (Isaiah 32:12).


PHOTO: Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines (Isaiah 32:12). Incredibly painful, difficult and humiliating punishments. The grape harvest was the basis of their economy, and its failure would cause Judah’s women to mourn for the land in which they had placed their confidence.
Artwork by Ilse Kleyn - The Seven Spirits Series - The Spirit Of Might Print

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 It seems that it was common for women in the ancient Near East to bare their breasts and put sackcloth around their waists during mourning.


PHOTO:  It seems that it was common for women in the ancient Near East to bare their breasts and put sackcloth around their waists during mourning. In Isaiah 3, highly sexualized punishments including a promise that The Eternal one “will lay bare their secret parts,” (Isaiah 3:17 JPS Tanakh 1917) while Isaiah 32 reads “She stripped herself naked and girded her loins.
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The pleasant fields and the good vines could be overgrown with thorns and briers as quickly as any other place whose people were out of harmony with God. "Merriment" and "revelry" will soon cease (Isaiah 32:13), and all the places where strength and rule could be expected will be abandoned (Isaiah 32:14). The general sense one gets is that, what was formerly cultivated, now has become a wasteland. All the false trusts will have failed. But this does not mean that God has failed. [2]

In the next section we learn that eventually the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel and the people of God will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest (
Isaiah 32:15-20). Consequently, it is obvious that Isaiah saw a day when the desolation would cease.


Eventually the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel and the people of God will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest (Isaiah 32:18).


PHOTO: Eventually the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel and the people of God will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest (Isaiah 32:18).
Painting by Robert Gallon - A Village Scene
Picture posted by British Paintings on Sunday, 30 January 2011

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The women and men of Judah had lost their way. They were looking to the world for help (First John 2:15-17). So how can we be sure that we do not go in the wrong direction in our life? The Bible teaches us that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). Recognizing that His Word was his light to direct him (Psalm 119:130 and Proverbs 6:23), the psalmist vowed to follow it (Psalm 119:105-106). Is it easy? No, the world, our flesh and the devil tempt us (James 1:13-15).



The women and men of Judah had lost their way.


PHOTO: The women and men of Judah had lost their way. They go in the wrong direction, rely and trust the world for help (First John 2:15-17). The Bible teaches us that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).
Artwork by Crystal Cook - Coming Out Of Darkness
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It is worth it, Isaiah had promised, the Messiah, through the Holy Spirit the Father has given, makes it possible for believers in to live a life of true nobility – one of generosity and self-giving, one of justice and righteousness, one that the uncertainties of this life cannot ultimately disrupt. There are inner resources with which we can meet everything that comes to us and to triumph over them. That is the Good News. [3]


 Dear Lord, Please help us not to lost our way by going in the wrong direction, and rely and trust the world for help. Help us to trust in God, to raise us above our circumstances. We pray that we follow the Bible teaching because God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. We pray through Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!


PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Please help us not to lost our way by going in the wrong direction, and rely and trust the world for help. Help us to trust in God, to raise us above our circumstances. We pray that we follow the Bible teaching because God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. We pray through Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!"
Painting by Howard Lyon Fine Art and Illustration - The woman at the well (living water)
Posted by barrioisabelicasud on 17 June 2015

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Posted by The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack, You Women Who Are So Complacent, Isaiah 32: 9-14



Reference

[1] The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack, You Women Who Are So Complacent, Isaiah 32: 9-14http://jaymack.net/isaiah-commentary/Fz-You-Women-Who-Are-So-Complacent.asp

[2] Pastor Benjamin Toh, West Loop Church, Quietness and Confidence Forever (Isaiah 32:9-20), posted on 16 November 2015, http://westloop-church.blogspot.sg/2015/11/quietness-and-confidence-forever-isaiah.html

[3] The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack, Till the Spirit is Poured Upon Us from On High, Isaiah 32: 15-20, http://jaymack.net/isaiah-commentary/Ga-Till-the-Spirit-is-Poured-Upon-Us-from-On-High.asp

[4] River Needham, An Ideological Gender reading of Isaiah 32:9-20, page 5, http://www.academia.edu/28166343/An_Ideological_Gender_reading_of_Isaiah_32_9-20

[5]  Ibid., 2.This translation comes from River Needham, “Considering the Arrogant Women of Isaiah 32(Unpublished Assignment, December 2016), page 2, but has been slightly altered and placed here for convenience sake. Kittel, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, n.d. (No Date).

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1 John 2:15-17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+2%3A15-17&version=NIV

Amos 6:1 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Amos+6%3A1&version=NIV

Isaiah 3:17 JPS Tanakh 1917 - http://biblehub.com/jps/isaiah/3.htm

Isaiah 3:18-23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+3%3A18-23&version=ISV

Isaiah 32:9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A9&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A10&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:11 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A10&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:12 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A12&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A13&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A14&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:9-14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A9-14&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:15-20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A15-20&version=NIV

Isaiah 32:18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+32%3A18&version=NIV

James 1:13-15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A13-15&version=NIV

Proverbs 6:23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+6%3A23&version=NIV

Psalm 119:105 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119%3A105&version=NIV

Psalm 119:105-106 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119%3A105-106&version=NIV

Psalm 119:130 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119%3A130&version=NIV