13 Yahveh takes his stand to conduct a legal case and takes his stand to judge peoples. 14 Yahveh enters into judgment with the elders of his people and its princes. “And you! You have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor in your houses! 15 Why are you crushing my people and grinding the poor face?” – This is a declaration of the Lord Yahveh of armies. 16 And Yahveh said: “The reason for this is that the daughters of Zion are arrogant, and they walk with outstretched neck, and they give flirting glances with their eyes, they go walking and skipping along and they tinkle with bells on their feet.” 17 The Lord will make the head of these daughters of Zion scabby, and Yahveh will lay their foreheads bare.”
skipping feet and tinkling bells
Isaiah describes the elders and leaders of Judah as arrogant daughters who flirt about with skipping feet, bells on them to ring as they skip, drawing attention to themselves. Yahveh says that he will turn their beauty into ugliness, and stop their flirting. Partly, the flirting was with other nations and their gods. God is jealous over a people who claim to be his but are always flirting with the gods of other lands. But the leaders are also drawing attention away from Yahveh and onto themselves – as if they are a reason to be proud, or a solution to the society’s problems.
God’s leaders must lead in humility. We must dare to draw attention away from ourselves, and toward God. We must avoid the temptation to flaunt and flirt.
LORD, forgive us for our failed leadership. Teach us how to show others the way to you without stealing the show ourselves.