See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, the hero and the warrior, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter. – Isaiah 3:1-3
I was recently travelling in Washington state and experienced the forest fires and drought conditions of the west first hand. They definitely are experiencing water supply issues. Land without water is barren and prone to destruction by fire and disease. I walked for about 30 minutes on the bed of what is normally a lake. In fact last year I actually swam 10’s of feet above where I was walking this summer. It is an exceptionally dry year.
This passage is describing God removing water and food supplies from Jerusalem and the land of Judah. On one level it seems punitive and cruel to remove the water and food that the people need to survive. I guess it is difficult to view the Israelites and their behavior from God’s perspective. I get the sense God is really frustrated with the Israelite’s ability to run away from the one who just wants to protect and carry them. Instead the Israelites turn to the sword and earthly kings to protect and provide. In a sense, God is really saying to the Israelites “OK thy will be done” you can fend for yourself now and see how that goes.
I think modern followers of Christ also cut themselves off from their supply of “food” and “water” when they replace a dynamic pursuit of God with a permanent pew once a week. God wants us to hunger and thirst for Him. The water and food that God provides are not always what we want. When God provided food for the Israelites in the desert in the form of Manna, bread from heaven, their first response was not “thank you” but rather “what is it?” They grew tired of the daily provision of manna even though it was providing for their needs. God also gave them water that was not to their liking. They wanted something different than God was offering.
In this passage the Israelites are also wanting something different than God is offering. It is ironic that the Jewish people have the same response when God provides a savoir to “settle the matter“. Jesus came with love rather than a sword to free them from the bondage of the Romans. They wanted something different than was offered.
God offered a freedom and citizenship far greater than the Romans or the Jewish leaders. He offered rebirth into a whole new way of living for the kingdom of God here on earth. God still offers each one of us this same freedom and citizenship, but He has also given us the freedom to refuse. Our call.
Prayer: God thank You for providing us with the water and food we need; and providing a savoir to show us the way to be born again here on earth.