A prophecy against the Valley of Vision: What troubles you now, that you have all gone up on the roofs, you town so full of commotion, you city of tumult and revelry? Your slain were not killed by the sword, nor did they die in battle. All your leaders have fled together; they have been captured without using the bow. All you who were caught were taken prisoner together, having fled while the enemy was still far away. Therefore I said, “Turn away from me; let me weep bitterly. Do not try to console me over the destruction of my people.” The Lord, the Lord Almighty, has a day of tumult and trampling and terror in the Valley of Vision, a day of battering down walls and of crying out to the mountains. Elam takes up the quiver, with her charioteers and horses; Kir uncovers the shield. Your choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates. The Lord stripped away the defenses of Judah, and you looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest. You saw that the walls of the City of David were broken through in many places; you stored up water in the Lower Pool. You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall. You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.- Isaiah 22:1-11
This passage is directed at the “City of David“, Jerusalem…The valley of vision. God is posing an important question to the people of Jerusalem, He asks them: “What troubles you now, that you have all gone up on the roofs, you town so full of commotion, you city of tumult and revelry?” God is asking something that He has asked the Israelites many times before, what is keeping you from Me?
The passage is describing a people that has surrendered and fled “while the enemy was still far away”. They did not loose a battle. They just seem to have lost their nerve and given up on themselves and on God. This is apparently very hard on God who weeps bitterly for the loss of His people. The choices of the Israelites lead to the destruction of Jerusalem. It is lost to invaders — the “choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates”.
God removed the defenses of Judah and instead of turning to God to be their defender they turned to the Palace of the Forest. This may be a reference to the palace of Solomon described in 1 Kings 5:1-9. King Solomon and the people of Jerusalem during his reign relied on riches and earthly things to make their nation great rather than God. The people of Judah are making the same mistake here. When the people of Jerusalem saw the walls crumble and fall they “stored up water in the Lower Pool”. A reference to the water reservoir within the city walls to provide water during a siege. It also sounds like they are sacrificing their own buildings and homes to rebuild the wall for protection.
The crux of the problem is clearly stated in the final sentence: “you built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.” God is reminding the people of Jerusalem that He is the Great Cistern and they need to look to Him for water and protection rather than walls, reservoirs, and earthly leaders.
There is an important message here for all those who would follow God. When faced with crumbling walls, attacking foes, or a difficult road we should look first to the one who wants to carry us like a son or daughter rather than spend our time and energy storing up water in reservoirs and building walls. If we put our trust in these earthly protections we will be disappointed, but if we place our trust in God He will provide what we need, although not always what we want.
Prayer: God when we experience hard times and life is difficult help us to seek first your protection and provision.
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Amen. I want God, I want Jesus…nothing short of that.
There comes a time when we must say this, but it’s sad sometimes we have to get disappointed over and over again before we learn this lesson.
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