Does God really care how we dress or whether we wear jewelry or have tattoos?
Isaiah 3 & 4
1 Corinthians 15.1-28
Isaiah 3 & 4:
Comfort for the righteous
God had sent Isaiah to warn the nation of Israel of coming judgment and the consequences of that judgment. How discouraging it must have been to the righteous people who had not turned their backs on God.
So He spoke to them through the prophet, as well. Chapter 3.10-11:
10 “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them,
For they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
For the reward of his hands shall be given him.
Matthew Henry in his commentary says:
Some good people might fear that they should be involved in that ruin, and therefore God bids the prophets comfort them against those fears: “Whatever becomes of the unrighteous nation, let the righteous man know that he shall not be lost in the crowd of sinners. The Judge of all the earth will not slay the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18:25) no, assure him, in God’s name, that it shall be well with him … and he shall be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. He shall have divine supports and comforts, which shall abound as afflictions abound, and so it shall be well with him.” When the whole stay of bread is taken away, yet in the day of famine the righteous shall be satisfied … they kept themselves pure from the common iniquity, and therefore the common calamity is not the same thing to them that it is to others. They brought no fuel to the flame, and therefore are not themselves fuel for it.
Dr. Henry was a Puritan pastor who lived from 1662-1714 so the language is a little foreign to modern day readers but the depth of his understanding makes it worth the effort. Think about some of his comments on this passage:
He shall be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. He shall have divine supports and comforts, which shall abound as afflictions abound, and so it shall be well with him.
Think about Daniel and his three friends. They were taken away as captives, but God gave them favor. He gave them wisdom and protected them from being forced to go against their consciences (Dan. 1). He intervened when they were condemned to death for refusing to worship idols instead of the One True God (Dan. 3, 6).
Before his life was over Daniel had served three kings, had been used to interpret dreams, had interceded for his people, and had impacted the kings and kingdoms he served.
When the whole stay of bread is taken away, yet in the day of famine the righteous shall be satisfied …
Just as He feeds the birds of the air, God can sustain his children in the worst economic times.
… they kept themselves pure from the common iniquity, and therefore the common calamity is not the same thing to them that it is to others. They brought no fuel to the flame, and therefore are not themselves fuel for it.
Or as Paul said in Galatians, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6.7).
What a loving Heavenly Father we serve. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13.5), to meet our needs (Matt. 6.25-34) to limit our trials (1 Cor. 10.13), and to give us wisdom (Jas. 1.5) and grace (Heb. 4.16).
God had been speaking in general terms in verses 10-11, but now He begins to address the women, in particular. Chapter 3.16-24:
16 The LORD says,
“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
tripping along with mincing steps,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
the LORD will make their scalps bald.”
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery. the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench;
instead of a sash, a rope;
instead of well-dressed hair, baldness;
instead of fine clothing, sackcloth;
instead of beauty, branding.