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" Oppressed People "
(Isaiah 3-4)
    "And I will give youth to be their rulers, and wanton children shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, man against man, every man by his neighbor. The youth will be insolent against the elder, and the dishonorable against the honorable... As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, those leading you cause you to go astray, and they swallow the way of your paths." (vs4-5,12)
Two months ago we looked at chapter 1 through the eyes of "replacement theology"; that, what is written to Israel applies to the church. In these chapters we might view what is written through the eyes of "British Israelism"; that those dispersed from Israel migrated up through Europe to Britain, and then to America, and thus the prophecies to Israel are (actually, allegedly) to America. And while what we read here can be seen globally, as an 'American' I certainly see these things all around me in this country. So I will address this topic as an 'American', and we will view these judgments as being designed, not only for Israel in Isaiah's day, but also America today.

What are the judgments? Reading verses 1-2 (please read the passage for yourselves) we see the downfall regarding Food, Water, Military, Prophets, Leaders. In other words, the collapse of the essential -basic- necessities that allow people to live and survive. Indeed, when the "third seal" is opened, the judgment is the economy and inflation and the expensiveness of food... a day's wages required for a day's intake of food. (Re6:5-6)

What do we see today? The collapse of various nation economies. People are becoming jobless. These days I see what appear to be homeless people, individuals/couples, parked out next to intersections, hoping for handouts. To be sure, many of those are 'working' the system. But for many, the aura around them and their pets (dogs) is unmistakable. I often feel more sorry for their dogs, drooping along. Pets tend to be what their owners are; thus a droopy dog would not indicate an otherwise 'happy' situation for the owner, only they are 'playing' the system. They -are- in hard times, for whatever reason. And the economy hasn't yet finished bottoming out. By the time the 'end' comes -MANY- MORE will be joining those ranks. What we see now is merely the foretaste of what is yet to come.

What is the cause? Pardon if we become a bit graphic as we progress, but what we observe in words here is nothing we aren't already seeing personally and in the media.

People are refusing to raise up their children with Godly standards, so they grow up sassy and disrespectful to adults. The hippy generation was notorious for doing things calling for them to appear before judges, and in court raising their marxist fists before the judge and the proceedings. When the rollerblade and skateboard punks go rolling by, and the business proprietor goes out to ask them to stop loitering, and when they become snotty about it, the proprietor uses stronger language at them, they reply with the trademark insolence, "WHATEVER!"

They often say that art defines life. For some time, now, the eco-green sustainability PSAs depict a 'father' leaving the lights on, or taking too long a shower, so it is the 'child' who is depicted telling (commanding/demanding) the father to mend his ways. And when he doesn't hop-to in obedience, the dog-patrol is called to take care of the matter.

The other Saturday as it was nearing evening news time, I had turned on the TV to the channel, and was in the other room doing some household laundry chores, listening to the kiddie cartoon that was on, "Shelldon" I was utterly amazed at how much self-esteem, self-worth, I'm-OK-you're-OK, and similar stuff was being drummed every-other sentence. And when, in the story line, the family was to partake a meal, and the little one wasn't too enamored of the meal selection, rather than mother saying (as in the days I grew up), "Eat what's on your plate" (or you can go to bed without supper), it was the 'servant' (mother) ingratiating to the child, "If you don't want that, may I get you something else?"

Children are the rulers (3:4), like the Nagano Olympics theme in 1998, "When Children Rule the World". A few years ago this new family moved next door, and the one girl, just getting into high school, and I would have many conversations. She was just a "kid" yet, but was talking, pretending to be like an adult, speaking of her "gentlemen" friends at school. But when these "gentlemen" might come around, by their appearance, attitudes and behavior it was obvious they were just rebellious little "punks".

Other than certain ones like Jezebel and other such individuals throughout history, never before has human history experienced the explosion of feminism as we see today. Women refusing their God-given rolls to raise up children... how many millions of babies have been murdered savagely in the womb! God said,

    "Can a woman forget her nursing infant, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Indeed, they may forget..." (Is49:15)
Indeed they do. As I was getting set to work on these words, in an e-mail from a subscriber from Virginia the account of a mother who had given birth at home, but when the baby was just freshly born, still attached by the umbilical cord, the mother killed it. As Paul says about the evil world and the "last days" that people will be "without natural affection" (Rom1:31, 2Ti3:3) What is more "natural" than a mother giving birth, and -CARING- for her new baby! But, NO!

They think nothing of killing human babies, but wax emotional with tear-jerky songs and PSAs to help save the abused pets: cats and dogs.

Why? Because they are following their mother Eve, who swallowed satan's lie... "You will be AS GOD" (Ge3:5) They are busy worshiping "mother earth", and following Gaia's high priestess Oprah, working towards female 'empowerment', and self-deification... to be goddesses... "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, your desire"

    "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched out necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and make a tinkling with their feet" (vs16)
And they learn to be mini-Jezebels even as early as the young teens... in some even more-despicable cases, mothers will fancy up their young 3-year olds to look like harlots to prance around in pageants. God's judgments are according to their lasciviousness: The text speaks of "their secret parts". What does one see paraded in Dancing with the stars, Ice dancing, women's gymnastics. (As we opened: please pardon the graphic speech) They open wide the legs, raise the bottom of their bodies up to the heavens, as if to say, "Here, look at this!" And everybody applauds wildly with whistles and catcalls. And look at vss18-23, all the things dealing with female cosmetics and fashions: Jewelry, things to decorate the legs, and cosmetics to enhance those "wanton eyes" as Jezebel "painted" her eyes (2Ki9:30) as they make their eyes "large with paint" (Jer4:30) and for the commercial cutely call it "fabulash". Models learn to stare wantonly into the camera, tempting: Here I am... if you're lucky, I could be yours! And females adorn themselves, hoping to look as provocative as those models. No, it's not just the males lusting for the females; as I understand it, females want it more than the males do; as might be confirmed by the things I would read on restroom walls back in the days when I did janitorial work. (I grew up knowing what males write. But when I first saw what females write, I was utterly shocked!) Females get-up themselves that way because they WANT IT! Don't blame -just- the guys. Like the saying: It takes two to tango!

And around the time this is being written the current "fitness" craze seems to be something called "Zumba". The old work-out equipment, lifting weights, running, walking, treadmill... is sooo 'boring'. If you buy the special offer, you can do "fun" aerobic workouts. But what one sees on the TV screen is -everybody- learning to be "exotic" dancers. In one scene the dancers look, for everything, like rock band back-up dancers. In another scene some males are doing accentuated pelvic thrusts. And as for the rest, they are moving their bodies in ways they depict in shows or sitcoms where somebody is going into a strip club and the dancers are dancing. It's all about Sex, Sex, Sex.

And this next chapter I suspect has much to do with "in that day" (4:1), as the time during and after Jacob's Trouble (Jer30:7) is often called. Perhaps entering into the Millennium of Messiah's Kingdom? By the time the 70th week is finished, as we addressed in the Revelation series, it is quite possible that only 10% of earth's present population will be left alive; 90% will have been decimated through warfare, famine, pestilence, and other catastrophes. (which also agrees with the desires of the eco-sustainability-agenda 21) And if a person understands that a lot of the death will be due to warfare, that means that there will be more females left than males. We know that in Israel, alone, 2/3 will be killed, and only 1/3 will remain. (Zec13:8-9) Here it speaks of "he who is -left-... he who -remains-" (4:3) Is6:13 speaks of the "tenth". It will be such devastation that the survivors will be few and scarce. There won't be enough males left for there to be "couples", so females wanting to reproduce will agree to 'share' males between them...

    "...only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach" (4:1)
This term "reproach" was an expression when a woman in Israel was barren. In other words, the few men that exist will be requested to sire children through many women. This is one explanation.

Here is another...

    "...seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothing; only..." give us sex. Let's have fun!
This first half of the verse sounds an awful lot like today's feminists. We don't want babies, we don't want marriage, we don't need the MAAAAN to hold us under his thumb, we will hold our own jobs and have -careers- and be 'independent'. We will doll ourselves up, expose ourselves to entice, decorate our legs, open them up and with the invitations of our wanton eyes seduce the man to -pleasure- us (and he better do it right, too!); and once satisfied, we will 'sniff', raise our heads and stretch our necks (3:16), walk mincing (wiggling our assets) as we go pouting away to do our own thing.

You didn't know that today's seductive sensuality was so graphically portrayed in Scripture, did you! But isn't this what society emulates and glorifies! Awhile back I happened upon a Jay Leno show where he had as guest some 'plus-sized' woman (model) who had been berated for revealing too much cleavage. So, while she was sitting there as guest, Leno busted the media for its -HYPOCRISY- by showing a clip of a Victoria's Secret TV commercial. You that see those know how "pornographic" they are...but nobody complains about them. (Well, NOT "nobody"! I yell at them all the time, and sometimes get so disgusted that I will flip channels momentarily until the commercial is over!)

In these chapters, as you read them, consider how much time is devoted to the female and her sexual allurements, compared to the other things it mentions. Is that not pretty much in the same proportion as what society considers these things! Most comedians that travel down the sleeze path can hardly speak of anything without sexual innuendo and undertones in every-other-sentence. If one has worked around certain trades, as people chat about whatever comes to mind, as they engage in their manual labor side-by-side, it is the same. During college one place I worked it seemed that pretty much every-other-word had some sort of sexual connotation.

And so how does God judge? In proportion to the sin. Busy beautifying certain body parts? "Jehovah will lay bare their secret parts" (3:17) I know it is not politically correct to say this next, but... If you getup yourself with allurements, walk seductively, flash those fabulashes seductively... don't be surprised when some male (that doesn't necessarily turn you on, but you turned him on) -accepts- the "invitation" and rapes you. REALLY! Consider it God's judgment. As it says in Revelation...

    "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things, for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink, for they are deserving. And I heard another out of the altar saying, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments." (Re16:5-7)
Yes, that male is evil, and deserving his own judgment. But you 'invited'. You got what you asked for. It takes "two to tango!"

In these days many Believers wring their hands when they see the evil state of things all around. As the economy is tanking worries begin to set in: How will I survive? How will I make it? As the news is watched and one sees the "unemployment" statistics, the Believer might worry: What happens when they hand me the pink slip?

When God is judging the wicked, He also takes care of His own. Notice...

    "Say to the righteous that it is well; for they shall eat of the fruit of their doings... Woe to the wicked! For the evil, the recompense of his hand, shall be done unto him." (3:10-11)
When famine was in the land, God sent ravens to feed Elijah. (1Ki17:4,6) When calamity begins, Ps46 is good assurance. Please read it. David observed...
    "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil and do good, and live forevermore." (Ps37:25-27)
When all the judgments begin against the world, the Church is protected...
    "Because you have kept the Word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." (Re3:10)
But to the evil, as we have already seen, God -RECOMPENSES- to the evil according to what they have done. Whatever they dished out, will be poured back onto them. And particularly...
    "Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and their rulers. For you have eaten up the vineyard, the plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean that you crush My people, and grind the faces of the poor? says the Lord Jehovah of Hosts." (3:14-15)
How do leaders "plunder" the poor? Since broadcast TV went all-digital last year, and I don't waste my money on cable or satellite, some of the programs available on the non-mainstream channels have changed. I can no longer get some of the preachers I would watch sometimes. But there is this one that -does- come on regularly, from the Campmeeting Hour. I don't recall -ever- seeing him actually -preach- a sermon. Perhaps he does, but I haven't yet seen it. All I ever see is him pleading for the viewers to "plant your seed". He specializes in "$1000 seed". And he seems to delight in picking on the poor... especially on those whose credit cards have huge unpaid balances. He exhorts his viewers to use -that- card to send in their "seed" to him. They are deeply in debt...go into $1000 greater debt to send -him- the money. Whereas Paul exhorts about giving...
    "For if something is presented eagerly, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have." (2Co8:12)
Now, we have been looking at the world. What about Israel? We mentioned comedians. Are not some of the most famous dirty-minded comedians and sitcom actors Jewish? God will judge Israel. We already mentioned how only 1/3 will survive. God is going to sweep away the dross, winnow away the chaff. (Ps1:4-6, Mt3:12) And as we know from the multitude of prophecies, which we won't look up now, God is going to give Israel a "new heart" (Ezk36:26) But notice that it is not a blanket cleansing. God is not cleansing -all- of Israel's evil. When Paul says that "all Israel shall be saved" (Rom11:26), that statement is to be taken in the context of this passage. Who are the ones called "holy" who have had their filth washed away? (4:3-4) It is "in that day" for those "who have escaped"; those "who [are] -LEFT- in Zion, and he who -REMAINS- in Jerusalem". And notice how in ch3 the predominance of the evil was about the women and their sensuality... here God is washing away the filth of the "-DAUGHTERS- of Zion".

You see... the previous chapter was graphically descriptive, because now God is cleansing His people. How do we know the extent of the cleansing, if we didn't first know the depth of the filth. To run a dusting cloth over a car that is merely 'dusty' is much less effort than to wash and scrub a vehicle that is covered, headlight to taillight in mud, due to having been out four-wheeling. In similar fashion the extent of God's grace to the sinner is only fully appreciated, only when the depth of the sin is first fully realized.

But as God makes full restoration He also brings back something Israel hasn't seen since the wilderness. In the wilderness as God was redeeming them out of Egypt He travelled with them in the -pillar- of fire and cloud. (Ex13:21-22)

In those days God is going to set up a canopy over Jerusalem with cloud and smoke by day, and fire by night. Exactly what this will look like? I guess we wait to see when the time comes. But this canopy is also going to be a shelter against storm and rain. (4:6) Today they build domes over coliseums. This is going to be God's -SUPER- DOME. It will be what the nations see when they trek to Jerusalem. The Light of God's presence. And it will be the shelter under which the people of Zion reside. Like that old song that is not sung anymore these days...

    Jesus is a Rock in a weary land
    A Shelter in the time of storm.
The judgments of the 70th week will have included the scorching sun and other catastrophes. (Re16:8-9) It says of those in white robes,
    "These are the ones coming out of great affliction, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not fall on them, nor any burning heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Re7:14-17)

Next Chapter: the Vineyard
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