1 For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; 2 the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, 3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counsellor and the skilful magician and the expert in charms. 4 And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. 5 And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbour; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honourable. 6 For a man will take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”;
7 in that day he will speak out, saying: “I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me leader of the people.” 8 For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying His glorious presence.
9 For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him. 12 My people–infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths. (ESV)
1. Depravation of the Lord’s people.
Conditions of extreme poverty in which God take away four things:
a. Support and supply – bread and water.
b. The guardians of their safety – the mighty man and soldier.
c. The guides of their spirituality – the judge and the prophet, the diviners (who should never have been there).
d. The goodness of their society – people will oppress one another, the youth insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honourable.
2. Their Desperation.
3. Their Deficiency.
Why does the Lord do this?
A. Because of their Defiance of the Lord’s Presence – living like He’s not there.
B. Because of their Deviation from the Lord’s Path – allowing their guides to mislead them.
But The Lord will deliver His people (verse 10):
6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7; ESV)
We need to return to our Prophet, Priest and King – the Lord Jesus Christ.