In this chapter we have a graphic description of the working of the principle of discrimination, the sifting of the people by God. There is first a contrast between the false and the true. The rebellious people are described as those who, in spite of all Jehovah's patience, still persist in idolatrous and evil practices. Against these Jehovah is compelled to proceed in strict and severe judgment. Then follows a description of the remnant, the holy seed, those who are described as the servants of Jehovah. These are not to be destroyed by the wicked, but are to be led out of the places of difficulty into inheritance and prosperity.
The sifting process is next described, and the life of the servants of God and the life of the rebellious are placed in striking contrast: eating as against hunger, drinking as against thirst, rejoicing as against shame, singing as against crying and howling. The result of the sifting of judgment is the establishment of the new order, that establishment of the Kingdom of God which is to be one of joy and justice, of prosperity and peace.
the Second Week after Epiphany