I have to begin this chapter with the verses that we find in vs.16 where the author accuses us of turning things upside down. Specifically he asks how can the potter be considered the clay? How can the clay say that the one who made him what he was has no understanding and is ignorant? Throughout this chapter we see the Lord speak a word of lament against Ariel which mean’s literally “lion of God”. But it is a Hebrew word which also denotes the heart of the altar. If you turn to Ezekiel 43:15-16 you will see that the altar hearth is described. In Hebrew that is called the ariel. So we know that this is a word of lament for Jerusalem.
Verses 13-14 speak to a God who loves us and yet wants us to worship Him without fear. He speaks of a people who draw near to God and honor Him with their lips but do not worship him with their hearts. They merely worship him by rote with words that do not mean anything to them, but words that they have become accustomed to. Their wisdom will perish while he raises up a people who will worship him with heart and soul.
He again ends this Scripture with a promise that one day Judah will no longer be ashamed and they will stand in the awe of the God of Israel. What a great image. One day we will all stand in awe of the God of Israel.