When I looked at the commentaries, the defense or coverings of Judah were seen as a sense of confidence. The house of the Forest was an armoury: and in the time of crisis the nation turned to their soldiers and prepared for a siege. The connection between teh pools is still there. Most commentators say that the person who did this was Sennacherib, the enemy of Israel. If you were listening to Isaiah at the time, this would have all made perfect sense.
The remained still applies. There are those who will enjoy the decline, and party, knowing that tomorrow will be very bad, so they will enjoy the present and not thingk about the future.
But God calls that an evil. In bad times we are to turn to him and repent. We are not to double down in our pride. Or he will remove all the protections that we think we have, and we will be found wanting.
8 And He removed the defense of Judah.
In that day you depended on the weapons of the house of the forest,
9 And you saw that the breaches
In the wall of the city of David were many;
And you collected the waters of the lower pool.
10 Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem
And tore down houses to fortify the wall.
11 And you made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the old pool.
But you did not depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago.
12 Therefore in that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the Lord of hosts revealed Himself to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord God of hosts.
4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Kea tells me a story of a couple of people who taught her photography. One is a man who is honest and a good craftsman. Never played the political game. Was let go, despite being the better tutor. The other worked the networs and survived in the job, at the cost of his integrity.
Never be that second man. The cost of that ticket is too high.
There are those who see that promotion and progress is needed for self worth. That one can ever rock the boat. That one should never grieve for what we have lost. You should be relentlessly cheerful, using interesting pharmaceutical hacks to achieve this is necessary.
But I’m fairly certain this is the time we should be grieving and repenting.
Thus if we personally lie (and every middle and upper class person lies for a living, on a daily if not hourly basis), then we can and should acknowledge that we lie, and that lying is a sin.
To be honest is thus to repent one’s (inevitable) dishonesty.
Individuals can do this; but institutions cannot repent – or rather, they can do it, but (here, now, 2020) it would be the last thing they did before ceasing to be an institution. Because repentance of an institution must be ‘official’, explicit, recorded in the organisation’s ‘minutes’; made public, made clear. And this is not tolerated.
The love of the world is the love or the organization, and all organizations follow the spirit of the age, because now they are about marketing. Truth does not get a moment of time. To accept the lies st to deny God, and James stands here, with his impolite language, and calls us out.
We need to start lying, particularly to ourselves. We are, in this world, right now, in crisis. Our institutions — from the politician to the priest — have failed us. We have having our defenses stripped bare. Turn now to God.
For it is a fearful thing to stand before him unshriven.