Isaiah 29 has Isaiah talking about Jerusalem as proud, resting on its spiritual heritage instead of its present reality and living for present pleasures without concern for God and His expectations. Jerusalem may have had a high opinion of itself, but it is not out of the reach of God’s hand of judgment. “I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and she shall be to me like an Ariel”. The repetition of the name Ariel the idea that Jerusalem may have thought of herself as the Lion of God, but God didn’t share that lofty opinion of the city.
God is not happy with Jerusalem. ”The multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff….you will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire”. There’s a bit of a mixed signal here as God describes what will happen. His action won’t just be against the city of Jerusalem but extend to those who attack the city as well. God will humble Jerusalem in the dust, and then scatter her enemies like fine dust, like chaff that passes away.
“Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men….I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden”. Jerusalem knew how to talk the spiritual talk, but their hearts were far from God. God doesn’t move away from His people; they remove their hearts from Him.
In spite of how we may treat God, He always loves us. He never gives up on us. He didn’t give up on His people in Jerusalem either. The people of Jerusalem made the terrible mistake of raising themselves up, and lowering God at the same time. “Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, He did not make me”. How we view God doesn’t change the facts that He is creator and our maker. He is in power, in control and on the throne of this world. We need to put Him back where He belongs and walk in obedience to His commands.