The Book of Isaiah
RUINED BY SIN
Text: ISAIAH 3
1. Isaiah chapter 3 is a continuation of chapter 2. In fact, chapters 3—5 constitute a lengthy prophecy.
2. In chapter 3 we see God’s judgment upon a sinful nation. I have entitled this message, “Ruined By Sin” (cf. 3:8).
3. Many years ago I heard a preacher say he always kept three things in mind when he preached:
C – context
I – interpretation
A – application
4. Over the years, I have always tried to follow that, and so tonight I will stress the interpretation – God’s judgment upon Jerusalem and the people of Jerusalem and Judah (cf. 3:1), as well as the application – how God will surely judge America.
I. THEIR DOINGS ARE AGAINST THE LORD (3:8).
1. Certainly we can apply this to America: abortion, homosexuality, adultery, divorce, pornography, gambling, drinking, drugs, etc.
2. In addition to these gross sins, there is materialism and covetousness. America has become a very prosperous nation, and most people have turned their backs on God.
3. God has a way of dealing with people like this (3:1-3). He will “take way” all support, all sustenance, even bread and water (3:1).
4. It is very easy for God to take everything away from us. We saw last year how many people in New Orleans lost everything they had – including their homes and their possessions. They had no money, no food and no clothing – only the filthy clothes on their back.
5. But in New Orleans it was the poor who lost everything. Here in Isaiah 3 we see that it will be the rich who will lose everything – “the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge…” (3:2, 3).
6. This reminds us of Revelation 6:12-17. In fact, both passages could be referring to the same judgment, because Isaiah often looked beyond his day to the future “Day of the LORD” (cf. 2:12 and 2:1, 2).
7. Merrill Unger said that, “Israel’s sins and chastisement, here outlined prophetically, prefigure her sins that will bring on her Tribulation trials and testings in ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer. 30:5-7), identical with the Day of the LORD” (Unger’s Commentary on the OT).
8. God’s punishment (“And I will give…” – 3:4) will involve anarchy and oppressive government. There will be a lack of competent rulers. Little children will rule (3:4, 5).
9. A few years ago, an FBI man by the name of, Gary Aldrich, wrote a book entitled, Unlimited Access. Mr. Aldrich was one of the two FBI agents posted at the White House. Their job was to protect the President from danger and scandal by performing security checks on White House appointees.
10. But when Bill Clinton came into office the new administration deliberately dismantled that security system – for one simple reason: Too many people (drug addicts, thieves, crooks, etc.) hired by the Clintons could not meet the required ethical standards.
11. When Mr. Aldrich worked at the White House during the Reagan presidency and first Bush presidency, all the men wore coats and ties and all the women wore modest apparel. But when Clinton took over, people came to work in tee-shirts and blue jeans.
12. These sloppy new appointees ran roughshod over White House tradition, common decency, and even federal law. Aldrich and members of the permanent White House staff were repeatedly shocked to discover drug use, rampant theft, open homosexual sex, and even widespread access to classified materials by personnel without security clearances.
13. I think this is the idea behind Isaiah 3:4-6. God is not talking about literal babes and children, but childish, foolish politicians.
14. I am not picking on the Democrats. The Republicans aren’t much better. They knew that Congressman Foley was a sodomite but they didn’t care. And now look at the mess they are in!
15. In his commentary on the book of Isaiah, Harry Ironside wrote, “Their leaders…were like infants unable to control themselves, much less to guide others aright, so disorder and confusion prevailed in place of orderly government.”
16. J. Vernon McGee: “As far as ability is concerned, men in high positions today should be wearing diapers. Juvenile adults are our rulers, and they are totally incompetent. That is exactly what brought Israel down to ruin in that day. Their leaders had the mental level of children, and God sent them into captivity. He judged them.”
II. THEY FLAUNTED THEIR SIN (3:9).
1. Doesn’t this sound like America today? A year or so ago, the governor of NJ was caught in a web of nasty scandals. So he stepped up to a microphone and said, “I am a gay American!”
2. That was bad enough, but then the crazy fool wrote a dirty autobiography, full of sleazy details about his homosexuality.
3. At least he resigned. And thank God that sodomite in Florida resigned. But many of these sodomites and adulterers refuse to step down. They flaunt their sin. They are not ashamed of their sin.
4. Yesterday, a man named Gerry Studds died up in Boston. Back in 1983, Studds was the first man in Congress to declare openly that he was a homosexual.
5. The reason he disclosed this information was he was caught in a sordid relationship with a (17-year-old) Congressional page. The House censured Mr. Studds for sexual misconduct, but he refused to resign.
6. Mr. Studds got “married” to his boyfriend in 2004, a week after gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts (cf. Isa. 3:9).
7. But Studds was not the only immoral politician up in Massachusetts. It is also the state of Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank (cf. Romans 1:32).
8. But despite all this wickedness, God always has a remnant of godly believers (3:10, 11).
III. HAUGHTINESS & VANITY (3:16, 17).
1. I do not want to offend anyone, but I am not looking forward to a woman president (3:12). I do not care if it is Hilary Clinton, Condaleeza Rice, or whoever.
2. In my opinion, the women’s lib movement was not Scripturally-based, and you can tell that from the fruit it has produced – legal abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, broken homes, divorce, immodest dress, etc.
3. Today we have men that want to be women and women that want to be men. God says it is an abomination.
4. We were driving around Naples, Florida the other day with the Barragans and I was amazed at all the women I saw operating backhoes and bulldozers and other heavy equipment. Bro. Barragan asked me what I thought about that and I told him I wouldn’t want my daughters doing that kind of work.
5. It is bad enough to hear a man use coarse and vulgar language, but it is terrible to behold a cigarette-smoking, filthy-mouth, woman.
6. Verse 16 sounds like it came from today’s newspaper – haughty women, “walking and mincing as they go.” The world says they are “hot” and “sexy.” God says they are “haughty.”
7. God judges these haughty, worldly women. He smites them with a “scab” (3:17). I read recently that there is an epidemic of STD’s in our public high schools and even our junior high schools, so now the schools are handing out antibiotics an addition to prophylactics and contraceptives.
8. Verses 18—23 describe the wild and ostentatious outfits and jewelry that worldly women wear, and the following verses describe God’s judgment upon them.
9. They would go off into captivity – not wearing stylish clothing, but sackcloth (3:24-26).
10. You can tell America has become a godless nation by the way people (especially women) dress. Sunday used to be the day people put on their best clothes and went to church. But those days are long gone for most people.
11. Harry Bultema, in his excellent commentary on the book of Isaiah, describes some of these obscure fashions referred to by the prophet Isaiah. He said, “cauls” are hair-nets (3:18).
12. “Their round tires like the moon” (3:18) were some sort of pendants or medallions.
13. Referring to the nose jewels (3:21), Bultema wrote, “Today there are still tribes who think nose rings are beautiful.” He wrote that back in 1923. I wonder what he would think of their popularity today!
14. A “mantle” (3:22) is a cloak. We recall Elisha taking up the mantle of Elijah (II Kings 2:13). A “wimple” (3:22) was a cloth wound around the head, that framed a woman’s face.
15. Harry Bultema says “glasses” (3:23) refers to a “transparent dress that reveals the body.”
1. There is a great emphasis today on glamour and clothing styles, but God is more concerned with the “inner man” (cf. I Tim. 2:9, 10; I Peter 3:1-4).
2. Israel did not have their priorities right and this brought down the judgment of God (Isa. 3:25, 26). How much time does America have left?