17 Get yourself up! Get yourself up! Stand up, Jerusalem, you who have already drunk from the hand of Yahveh the cup of his wrath; you have drunk the glass, the cup of staggering; you have drained it out. 18 There is no one who guides her of all the children she has given birth to, and there is no one who holds her by the hand among of all the children she brought up. 19 Two crises have hit you –who cares about what you experience?– devastation and destruction, scarcity and sword—but who will comfort you? 20 Your children have passed out; they lie at the head of all the streets, like an antelope in a snare, those who are full of the wrath of Yahveh, the rebuke of your God. 21 So hear this now, afflicted and drunken one (but not from wine). 22 Thus says your Lord, Yahveh, and your God pleads the cause of his people: “Watch! I have taken from your hand the cup of stumbling. You will not drink again from that glass, the cup of my wrath; no longer. 23 And I will put it in the hand of your tormenters, who have said to your soul ‘Bow down so that we may walk all over you!’ And you have made your back flat like the ground, and like the street for those who wanted to walk all over you.”
false hopes replaced
Isaiah’s Jerusalem had trusted in two false hopes, which have led to disaster for them. First, they had assumed that if they did what the neighbouring nations did, it would lead to peace. No, peace does not come from that kind of unity. Peer pressure leads to sin, and sin leads to judgment. Secondly, they had assumed that no matter how corrupt this generation becomes, there would always be strength to recue them in the next generation. Wrong again. Jerusalem ended up bereft of an entire generation of would-be rescuers.
Isaiah tells this beaten down people to look up. There is still a true hope to replace those false hopes. It is God himself. He will rescue his people from the consequences of their own sin and short-sightedness.
LORD, we see all around us evidence of the devastation caused by our assumptions. Forgive us, and rescue us. We choose to trust in you.