the boughs [qatsiyr] thereof are withered [yabesh], they shall be broken off [shabar]: the
women ['ishshah] come [bow'], and set them on fire ['owr]:
for it is a people [`am] of no understanding [biynah]: therefore he that made [`asah] them will not have mercy [racham] on them, and he that formed [yatsar] them will shew them no favour [chanan]. KJV-Interlinear
11 When its
boughs are dry, they are broken; women come and make a fire of them. For this
is a people without discernment; therefore he who made them will not have
compassion on them; he who formed them will show them no favor. ESV
Ignorance of doctrine and sin are closely related. Ignorance is never a valid excuse, even though sin blurs truth, because people know what they are doing, or not doing, and are therefore conscious of their thoughts and actions.
And so Isaiah now summarizes the reasons for the massive destruction of evil, and not only evil, but of the evil of Gods own people.
When people, even those who are believers, are so negative, then destruction is inevitable. For when a vineyard is filled with bad vines, unless it were pruned and the dead vines cleaned out, it would be overrun with bad. And sooner or later the whole vineyard would be ruined.
Gods foundation is truth. This leaves no room for evil or lies. And when those things begin to take hold, then they have to be removed.
As we studied yesterday, bad things are inevitable, but why? Because people are their own worst enemies. People ignore truth, and thus become the source and cause of their own trouble.
But that is not the worst of it. When destruction strikes, humiliation, embarrassment, and disgrace nearly always accompany it.
And so we have that here.
Dry boughs is the nature of a branch with no life. It dries out, breaks, and falls to the ground of its own weight.
When people ignore the teaching of Bible doctrine, they dry out. No doctrine, means no learning, and no learning means ignorance of truth. Since Bible doctrine is the food and energy of the soul, then a soul lacking nourishment lacks health. It becomes undernourished, sick and dies. And all because of its own refusal to pursue and learn truth.
But the broken branches also refers to the end of a harvest, when nothing is left to harvest. And that too indicates a failure in society to pursue truth. An unhealthy society means wide spread destruction.
Remember that these passages are end of the world passages. So, we know that when the end times is upon us, then interest in God, in Christ, and in doctrine will fade away. That means society will be spiritually dysfunctional and spiritually deficient. That means destruction is on the horizon.
And when that occurs, just as Jesus and Paul taught, as Isaiah is teaching here, there will be a huge apostasy covering the entire world.
There have been many apostate periods in history, but none will be like that which is coming.
And so, the women will gather the branches and burn them.
This is a condemnation of society, and of believers.
In their apostate state, there will be great disgrace.
It is a mans world, and as such when men fight they prefer to fight men and if beaten, then beaten by men. It is a huge disgrace to be beaten by a woman. This is an ego thing. But nonetheless, when destruction comes, it will not be men of battle who are plundering and cleaning up, it will be women. The whole point of this is not who is picking up after the battle, but the disgrace of not knowing doctrine. The disgrace of course applies to both men and women, or to anyone who has been indifferent toward learning truth.
So this is symbolism of the humiliation and disgrace that comes from lack of knowledge, and lack of wisdom. Which in turn are directly related to the downfall of the individual, of people, and of society.
But Isaiah, continues in describing the disgrace, especially the confusion over where people actually come or came from.
Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe, of the world, and of all life.
People get to thinking that they create themselves or perpetuate life through natural biological processes. Not so.
Granted there is an obvious biological function in perpetuating humanity, but the biology is not human life, it is biological life. God creates human life and God creates human life each time a person is born.
And here Isaiah explains this to make it clear.
God made them, and God formed them.
The first word for made, 'asah,’ refers to making something based on a pattern or design.
The second word for formed, ‘yatsar,’ refers to making something out of material.
There are six other words used in the creation process, which we covered in our Genesis study.
But the point being made here is, that it is God who causes the whole creation process, not man. God planned it, designed it, provided for it, and finishes it. Humanity does nothing but, well, fool around.
And it is man who presumes that his own effort is the basis for life, just as ignorant man presumes many things of foolishness, the worst of which is the presumption of not needing God or doctrine.
The result? Destruction. and better put, self-destruction.
From under his own worthless dead weight, people and humanity bring about and fall to their own demise.