The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
26:17 - "Like a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near her time, so were we because of you, O Lord."
Isaiah 27 - No mention of any women.
Isaiah 28 - No mention of any women.
29:7 - "And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night."
Isaiah 30 - No mention of any women.
Another female city being conquered.
Notice how God keeps telling these cities that they're gonna suffer now, but as long as they endure and believe they will be rewarded in the end. Live through the beating now, it's okay, God will bring you roses tomorrow, right?
Do the stories of Ariel and Tyre remind anyone else of the story of Hagar?
Yeah, I know, women aren't the only ones to get this. Job had to suffer to get God's grace in the end, too. But I think the main difference between these cities and Hagar is that God actually commands these women/cities to suffer and tells them of their reward. Job wasn't commanded to endure and then he'd be rewarded. Job was left in the dark and constantly cried out to God for an explanation for his suffering. So why do these women/cities get the benefit of God letting them know that they're suffering will be temporary? Does God not think that these women/cities will endure and keep faith in him like Job will? Does he think that if these women/cities are left to suffer that they'll just leave him? I mean, evidence suggests that the women will since Job's wife couldn't keep her faith under pressure. She was ready to curse God after her children were killed, she didn't even need to go through the rest of Job's tribulations.
So does God speak to these women/cities because they are instrumental in his bigger picture? Not because the women/cities themselves are important but because they will bear a crucial son or because they will be used to expand his kingdom? As a demonstration of God's power? I mean, if God allowed Ariel and Tyre to be conquered and the cities turned away from God before he could lift them up how would that benefit him? If he lifted them up after they turned to a different God he wouldn't get the credit, and if he didn't lift them up he wouldn't get any praise at all. No, the only way the city's downfall would work in his favor is if they kept their faith and in doing so were rewarded.
But since women are weak in faith unless (so it would seem, anyway) God seems more willing to explain what he is doing to them. That their suffer is only temporary and he will be there to save them. Honestly, that pretty much guarantees they will keep the faith because if they didn't the implication is that God will not make everything better again. So it's not really a choice, in the end.
At least, that is what this is all kind of looking like to me. Anyone have any different ideas?
Monday: Isaiah 31-35