19 Because a people will live in Zion; in Jerusalem, you will not keep on weeping. Surely he will be gracious to you; when he hears the sound of your cry, he will answer you. 20 And the master might give you distress for bread and oppression for water, but your teachers will not hide themselves any longer. And your eyes will be seeing your teachers. 21 And your ears will hear a word from behind you, saying, “here is the way; walk in it,” when you go to your right and when you go to your left. 22 And you will scrape off the plating from your silver idols and the covering from your gold image. You will throw them away like a menstrual rag, saying to them, “Get out!”
from riches to rags
Isaiah speaks to a people who had overdosed on their own wealth. They had become so corrupted by the pagan nations around them that they prided themselves on the silver and gold plating on all the idols they had in their homes. But Isaiah could see into the not-too-distant future when those signs of affluence would be viewed differently. The pagan nations that they had sought to be like would become their masters. Suddenly, the Israelites will remember that their parents and grandparents always had a sure ethical word from the LORD, and they will want that more than those stupid idols. So, even while in exile and under pagan domination, the Torah teachers will come back. Those idols which had been signs of wealth will be then seen as signs of foreign domination. The Israelites will take those idols and scrape off the gold and silver plating, throwing the wooden idols away like a woman does a used menstrual rag.
Isaiah’s message for us today is to look around us and see what is valued in the societies in which we live. Some of those symbols of wealth and luxury are designed to keep us under Satan’s domination. When we finally realize that God’s word is what really matters, we will have the courage to throw those stupid things away.
LORD, give us an eye and an ear for the things that really matter in life. Give us the wisdom to rid ourselves of the symbols of satanic domination.