God didn’t abandon Israel
Israel—punished, not forgotten1
The LORD says,
“You think I divorced your mom?
Can you show me the divorce papers?
Where did the gett go?
You think I sold you to pay a debt?
Wrong on both counts.
I sent you packing because of your sins.
Why did you ignore me when I called?
Do you think I’m too weak to rescue you?
That I don’t have the strength to save you?
Remember this, I can dry the sea.
I can turn rivers into a desert,
Leaving the fish flopping,
And stinking the place.
3I can turn daylight to darkness
So the sky turns to mourning.
I’ll hold my head high4
The LORD gave me a tongue worth talking about,
With just the right words for the weary.
Day after day I rise from my bed
As a student who listens and learns.
And I don’t resist using them.
I don’t ignore what he says.
6People beat my back, and I took abuse.
Again, when they pulled out my beard.
I didn’t run from their insults.
I took their spit on my face.
7The LORD God helps me.
I don’t feel disgraced.
I wore my expression solid as a rock.
I’ll have nothing to do with their shame.
Clear my name8
The Judge is coming to clear my name.
So, who’s going to take me to court?
Let’s stand there together, side by side.
Where are my enemies?
Come on, step up.
Do you think you’ve got a chance?
You’ll all slip away, quietly slinking.
You’ll be as gone as a moth-eaten cloth.
10Does anyone out there trust the LORD?
I’m his servant. Will anyone do what I say?
When you walk in darkness
And there’s no light at all,
That’s when you lean on the LORD.
That’s when you call on your God.
11But you make your own kind of light.
And you walk by the light of your torch.
If you follow that path by the light of your hand.
It will lead to a torturous end.
A “gett” or “get” is a Jewish document that dissolves a marriage. A husband personally delivers it to his soon-to-be ex-wife. This marriage here is a metaphor, many scholars say, with the wife representing the Jewish people and the husband and father representing God.
When Cyrus freed the Jews to go home, few went. By then, they had been living abroad for a generation, about 50 years. What is now Iraq and Iran had become their new home.
In ancient times, some people blamed their gods for failure. Israel lost their war with Babylon. So, some would have argued that Israel’s God wasn’t strong enough to defeat Babylon’s gods. Some Jews may have believed it, too. And with Jerusalem and the Temple gone, they must have wondered if their agreement with God was forever broken and if they were no longer his Chosen People.
Who’s doing the talking? Some say it’s the writer, who presents himself as the prophet—whether the writer was Isaiah or someone else more than a century later. Many say the speaker probably isn’t a metaphor for Israel or a reference to leaders God used to help Israel, such as Persian King Cyrus (ruled 559-530) or the later Persian King Darius (ruled 522 BC-486 BC).
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.