7 On that day, the man will look upon his maker, and his eyes will look to the holy one of Israel; 8 he will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not see what his fingers made and the poles of Asherah worship and the incense altars. 9 On that day, the cities he trusted in will be like the abandoned high woods of the Amorites which they deserted because of the children of Israel; and they will be desolate. 10 Because you have forgotten the God who saved you, and you have not remembered the rock you took refuge in; therefore you plant plants to please yourself, and you plant it like a vine of a foreigner. 11 On your planting day you make it grow, and in the morning, by your sowing you bring it into bloom, but the harvest will flee in a day — sickness and incurable pain. 12 Oy! a noise of many peoples, they make a noise like a noise of seas! And a roar of nations, they roar like strong water roars! 13 People may roar like much water roars, but he will rebuke him, and he will flee far away. And they will be chased like chaff off mountains in the face of a wind and like tumbleweed in the face of a storm. 14 Towards evening time, and see, terror! Before morning he is no more. This is the fate of those who plunder us and the destiny of those who plunder us.
chased like chaff off mountains
Confession time. I have an irrational quirk, a preference that I cannot explain. I like the sound of rushing water, but I dislike the sound of rushing wind. Don’t ask me to explain the difference, because to me they sound similar, but I enjoy waterfalls and crashing waves, but I cannot stand it when a car window is opened while I’m riding in the car.
Both sounds are mentioned in today’s text. The LORD tells humanity that no matter how much of a roar we make, he will have the last say. He will sweep the arrogant and noisy oppressors away from the mountain like he blows the chaff off the mountain with his rushing wind. It is amazing how efficient the wind is at clearing a mountain of everything, leaving the bare trees until springtime.
Isaiah’s point is that those who are being plundered can rest assured that God will deal with their plunderers. No matter how loud their waterfall roars, God’s rushing wind can sweep them away in judgment.
LORD, when we are being wrongly treated by your enemies, remind us of the power of your mighty wind to chase the chaff off the mountains.