DIG: This verse sums up God’s anger against all the bad fruit described so far. If judgment has already come to Judah (1:5-7), why is yet more punishment necessary?
REFLECT: The Scriptures teach us that it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. When have you experienced His discipline? Have you seen the results His discipline in those whom you love? How did it make you feel? How do you think it makes the LORD feel? How can this be avoided?
The fourth consequence depicts the Judean slaughter in battle. Therefore the LORD’s anger burns against His people; His hand is raised and He strikes them down. The Hebrew used here has the prophetic perfect; the event, though in the future, is viewed as already happened. Now Isaiah moves from a figure of speech to a more specific announcement. The hedge is about to be taken away and the animals summoned to come in and trample the vines (5:5). The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets, strewn everywhere as a result of a military attack. And just as the Judeans thought that they had some relief, the fist of YHVH would come down with vengeance again. Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised (5:25). When reading the Book of Immanuel section in Chapters 7 through 12, Isaiah will drive home that phrase four different times.
The Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish (Second Peter 3:9), but there is an end to His patience. And that time had come for Judea. Even though they were the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalm 17:8), they were deep in denial and sin. He had to discipline them, if not, they were without hope. Because He loved them so much, ADONAI could do no less. This was true then, and it is just as true for us today.
The writer to the Hebrews wrote: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God . . . It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:16-27 and 31).
The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack 2006-2017