1 Oy! The majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks, and a withering flower of the his glorious beauty, which stands at the head of a fat valley – people attacked by wine! 2 See! The Lord has someone mighty and strong, like a rainstorm of hail, a wind storm of destruction, like a rainstorm of mighty overflowing waters, he will toss him to the land by hand. 3 The majestic garland of Ephraim’s drunks — they will be trampled by feet, 4 also that withering flower — its glorious beauty which stands at the head of a fat valley will be like its early fig before summer, which, when the one who sees it sees it, he swallows it straight from his hand. 5 In that day, Yahveh of armies will become a beautiful garland and a glorious crown to the survivors of his people, 6 and a spirit of justice for the one who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back battle from the gate.
transformed by invasion
Isaiah describes a people – his own people, transformed spiritually. They begin as spoiled, proud drunks whose pride is in their own majesty and beauty. Then, the LORD tosses in an invading army, and that invasion strips all such foolishness away. Suddenly, the only prize worth having is the LORD himself. The people are no longer a withering flower, attacked by their own addiction to wine. It suddenly makes sense to have honest judges and brave warriors. The coming invasion would do what generations of peace had not. It would sober the people and get them interested in having a relationship with God, and living in maturity as a result of that relationship.
War is a terrible thing, and it should not be sought after. But sometimes a society gets so drunk with pride in itself that it no longer listens to reason. Sometimes an invasion is the only thing that can shake a people enough to get their eyes off themselves and back on the LORD.
LORD, invade our lands with your Holy Spirit. We fear that if this does not happen, other invaders are the only thing that can stop our runaway immaturity.