Woah, a chapter that goes some unexpected places.
A description of God’s City, walls made of salvation, the strongest stuff there is. Gates town open to all nations. To the dead.
A height metaphor is used to talk about the proud and pompous being made low and the humble lifted up, but not reversed, made straight, made even.
Isaiah is always this two edged sword, can’t damn without hope, no hope without contrasting fate of those who do not listen. It’s always a plea.
The contrast here is with the outcome of people’s trust in their own strength, which looks like it’s going to deliver but ultimately can’t. Amusingly it is compared to a woman writhing with birth pains who ultimately delivers a fart. What a great way to think about so much of the Ted talks etc, humanism has great goals, but only humans to execute them.
The birth metaphor extends to God raising the dead in him for his City, the ground giving them up. The City of Salvation is not tied to earthly life spans, its eternal forwards and backwards.
God is solid, God is real, God produces children for his labours, true justice, true rescue, lasting comfort.
In the meantime this promise “God will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is set on him”