This chapter is disgusting. V 1-6 ask where god is and why doesn’t he show himself and perform miracles like he did in the old days. Good question! V 5-7 respond that it’s because we are all “infected and impure with sin…”. V 8-12 describe worshipers groveling for mercy. No wonder ex-Christians need therapy.
Verses 1-5 explain the reason for god’s absence by blaming the victim. Specifically, v 4 condemns eating the foods that were considered unclean back in Leviticus. Yet not long ago (in chapter 58), Yahweh supposedly downplayed the importance of all those old rituals and rules. He needs to make up his mind! In v 6-15, Yahweh expresses his desire for vengeance and violence against those who don’t suitably bow down to him. And v 17 to the end invoke the type of apocalyptic thinking found in the book of Revelation, as god creates a “new heaven and a new earth” (v 17). Fundamentalist Christians take these passages very seriously, believing they describe what life will be like when the Messiah (Jesus, of course) comes. (Does it actually say anything about Jesus here? No.) There’s lots of wishful thinking – no longer will babies die (v 20), and the wolf will lie with the lamb (yeah, we heard that back in chapter 11 already). Make sure to read it all to understand this type of world view.
We’re reached the end of this horrible book! Although I know I shouldn’t say that, because I’m pretty sure the next one(s) will be even worse. The first two verses are important because they will be quoted in the book of Acts 7:49. And Yahweh continues, in v 2-4, to demand complete and total subjugation from his followers. Contemptuous despot! The rest of the chapter, as far as I can see, is just yada yada yada – more apocalyptic predictions (v 15-16), more threats (v 17), more of Yahweh boasting about his own power and glory (v 23), more unspeakable cruelty and tyranny (v 24). What else would we expect?