Dr. Couch, could Isaiah 3:1-12 be speaking about Israel during the Day of the Lord?
Yes, in fact the passage is speaking about not only what will come on Israel but upon all the Gentile nations. The full context actually begins in chapter 2 where God tells Isaiah what "will come about in the last days" (v. 2). The passage starts out describing the coming of the Messiah bringing a worldwide peace, at which time "Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war" (v. 4). But before His reign of peace begins there will be a judgment upon the world and upon Israel. "For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning" (v. 12). As mentioned in Revelation 6, men will go into the caves of the rocks" because of the terror of the Lord. "He arises to make the earth tremble" (v. 19). People will hide "Before the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble" (v. 21).
This of course is the Wrath of God, the Day of the Lord, the seven year Tribulation period!
I believe what God says next about what will be happening with Israel will also be happening among the Gentile nations. Culture and society will be turned upside down. "The capricious children will rule over [the elders], and the people will be oppressed" (3:4-5). "The youth will storm against the elder" (v. 5). Homosexuality will be in openly practiced, as it is now. "The expression of their faces bears witness against them. And they [will] display their sin like Sodom; they will not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they will have brought evil on themselves" (v. 9).
But look what will happen among the women of the world! "Their oppressors are children, and women [will] rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your paths" (v. 12). Because of this, God will bring a harsh judgment upon women (vv. 16-24). He will bring diseases upon them and "He will make their foreheads bare" (v. 17). But because of the terrible things happening to women, because they have destroyed God's natural order of the sexes, they will seek safety in the company of men. "For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, 'We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach'" (4:1).
On 3:12, Unger writes, the reference to women "perhaps means weak, effeminate men, or men dominated by vain women such as those described in verses 16-26, leading them astray and confusing the direction of their paths (9:16; 28:14-15)."
Thanks for asking. And I do indeed believe we are coming into such days, though the rapture of true believers will take place before this terrible period falls in its full strength on the world. [Pastors, please share this with your church.]
Dr. Mal Couch