Lean Not

“For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.” (Isaiah 3:1)

Isaiah lived and wrote during a time of spiritual poverty in the nations of Judah and Israel, as well as national decline. He foresaw and foretold in graphic detail the coming captivities of both nations, but was particularly concerned with the state and future of his homeland, Judah, and his hometown, Jerusalem.

The first several chapters of his book consist of a strong denunciation of the practices of the people of Judah. The nation was literally disintegrating due to rampant sin. In preparation for the coming national and ultimate judgments, Isaiah warned against personal pride and reliance on human resources. “The loftiness of man shall be . . . made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day” (2:17).

In our text, the words “stay” and “staff” are the masculine and feminine forms of the same word, both derived from the word meaning “support,” translated “stay of bread.” Thus, Isaiah uses this idiom and the next several verses to teach that God will remove any semblance of support for this sinful people, whether mighty man, soldier, judge, prophet, seer, elder, captain, artist, orator, or mature ruler (3:2-4), for the purpose of humbling them, “the people shall be oppressed, . . . every one by his neighbour” (v. 5), and demonstrating that the Lord, Jehovah Himself, could be their only real stay or staff. “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious” (4:2).

The word “stay” is elsewhere translated “lean,” “rely,” or “rest.” “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). JDM

The Latest
NEWS
Complex Engineering in Weevils Befuddles Evolution
The beautiful glossy rainbow weevil from the Philippines is unique for the spectacular rainbow colored spots on its thorax and forewing. These circular...

NEWS
Giving Day Today!
Hello, Friends. North Texas Giving Day is finally here! Will you partner with us? Your generosity will help ICR proclaim the truth and accuracy...

TESTIMONIALS
Answers to Build Your Faith
Hello, I’m Bill West, ICR’s System Administrator. Thirteen years ago, a man dedicated to God’s Word shared the gospel with me, and...

NEWS
Newly-Discovered Brain Cell
Someone said the three-pound human brain is the most complex and least-understood biological structure in the known universe. Scientific research regarding...

TESTIMONIALS
Biblical Creation for Everyone
Hello, my name is Rebecca Barber. I work here at ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, and I recently finished a project detailing the history...