Isaiah 22 records Sennacherib's invasion of Judah; though Jerusalem itself is not taken, the prophet mourns over the destruction of God's people (4). As the inhabitants of the city watch from the rooftops (1), they witness the capture of Judah's rulers along with the people who had fled (3). Isaiah sees the surrounding enemy (7), but attributes their victory to the LORD of Hosts (5). The prophet's terse phrase at the beginning of verse 8 tells the entire story: "He removed the protection of Judah." Why would the LORD do such a thing to His people?
God removes the defenses of His people because of their misplaced faith; Judah is trusting in her weapons (8), in her provisions (9), in her plans for defense and protection (10-11a), but she is not trusting in the LORD who is her Maker and true Defender (11b). God wants to be His people's defense, but wealth, weaponry, walls, and water blind Judah to God and give them false confidence in their own abilities. So God removes their defense.
God removes the defense of His people because of their moral failure: Judah not only trusts in her human defenses; she also rejects the LORD's call for repentance in favor of revelry. God calls His people to mourn--"weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth" (12); the nation responds perversely with a party-based mindset, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" (13). Such moral failure invites the judgment of God that will not be forgiven (14).
Isaiah presents a number of timeless truths for the people of God:
Isaiah proclaims judgment against Israel's neighbors. What do these judgments reveal about God?
What reasons does the LORD give for removing His protection from Jerusalem in Is. 22:1-14? What does this reveal about God?
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