3:16 – The Rest of the Story – God Reveals His Plan 11: Isaiah

A Bible Study exploring all the 3:16s in the Bible as they illuminate

  • the Human Condition
  • God’s Revelation of His Plan (Current location of study)
  • God’s Fulfillment of His Plan
  • Our Response

“The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet,” – Isaiah 3:16

I debated (with myself) about several approaches to tackling this week’s 3:16 study. When I read Isaiah 3 in preparation for this blog post it raised a few questions in my mind. The whole chapter focuses on coming judgment on Israel and Judah for their sin. I thought, with regard to the current theme of this study of God’s Revelation of His Plan, that it might be good to address some philosophical questions, such as, since Israel continues in rebellion, why would God even continue trying to work with them? Or even, if God knew in advance that they would rebel, why even start with them? Or for that matter, if God knew Adam and Eve would sin, why create them? The same goes for Satan. You could chase questions such as these all day.

In preparing to address those questions, I found the the following articles which you might find interesting. However, you can explore those as you wish, but I decided to go a different direction for this week’s blog post.

When I wrote the post about Genesis 3:16 I felt it important to include some commentary about how the rest of the book ties in to God’s revelation of His plan, and I feel the same about Isaiah. To only discuss the rebellion and approaching judgment on Israel would be a disservice to the rest of the book’s message, which some have called the gospel of the Old Testament. Of course, the entire Old Testament points in many ways to the coming Messiah, but Isaiah presents a marvelously clear picture of how the Messiah fits into God’s overarching plan.

Isaiah explanatory poster from The Bible Project

Isaiah’s message is two-fold – a message of judgment and a message of hope – both for the nation of Israel and for all nations. In chapter 1-39 Isaiah focuses on how Israel has rebelled against God and how He will execute judgment on them through the conquering Assyrians and Babylonians. However, there will come a day in which a remnant of the nation will return and from that remnant will rise a holy one (the Messiah) who will restore Israel and reign over all nations. Isaiah also gives a similar message to the nations of the world, explaining that their haughtiness will be judged but someday they will be ruled and comforted by this holy king.

An 8-minute Bible Project Part 1 video summarizing Isaiah 1-39 is linked below. It is very well done and I strongly encourage you to watch it.

The second part of Isaiah (Chapters 40-66) focuses more on the coming “obedient servant” who is the Messiah and who will eventually reign. God dismisses the accusation that He has forgotten His covenant with Israel during the exile (after being conquered), but clarifies instead that Israel’s defeat was His judgment on them, but now He is going to do a “new thing” (Isaiah 42:9). He describes how His Servant (the Messiah) would be declared as a substitute for Israel, would suffer and be rejected and killed by them (Isaiah 52-53), and would live again to see the results of his sacrificial death (Isaiah 53:10-12). There will be two possible responses to this activity – either humbling and repentant acceptance, or resistance and rebellion against it.

The second 8-minute Bible Project video summarizing Isaiah 40-66 is linked below. It is very well done and I strongly encourage you to watch it.

In the Old Testament, there is no clearer description and representation of Jesus Christ as fulfilling the prophecy of the obedient servant.

Now let’s return briefly to this week’s 3:16 verse.

The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet, – Isaiah 3:16

This is definitely not a stand-alone verse. Again, in context, all of Chapter 3 and on into Chapter 4 is speaking of how Israel has turned from God. He speaks of the “haughtiness” of the daughters of Zion as a way of describing the way the people have rejected God’s was and look to themselves instead. God speaks of two “days” in these passages.

  1. “In that day the Lord will take away…. (Isaiah 3:18-4:1)” – This represents the day of judgment. God’s judgments come in multiple ways, either in the more immediate context through discipline and reprimands of a disobedient people, and ultimately in the final day of judgment, spoken of in both the Old Testament and New Testament, when God will enact His final determination of the eternal destiny of every individual, based on their acceptance or rejection during life of God’s substitutionary sacrifice of His obedient servant.
  2. “In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious…. (Isaiah 4:2-6)” – This speaks of the day following God’s judgment in which His people will look at their redeemer (the Messiah) and see God eternally glorified in him. He will have removed all the sin from His people and dwell with them in eternal peace (Revelation 20-22).

Where do you stand today? Have you accepted the sacrifice of God’s obedient servant Jesus? Are you ready for “that day” when you stand before God? Will He recognize in you obedience or rebellion?

Join me next week as we take a look at Lamentations 3:16.

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