The prophet paints a picture of a society that, because of its rejection of God's way, has lost its ability to produce leaders in every sector. Someone must lead, thus the leadership positions are filled by children—immature, inexperienced, and self-involved adults who act like children—and women. These "women" can be literal women, or they can represent men who act like women.
The example Isaiah gives in verses 6-7 is quite picturesque. He imagines a group of people living amidst the crumbling remains of a once-proud city. One of them, unwilling himself to lead, implores his brother to take the responsibility of ruling those left after the repeated disasters that strike a wicked, disintegrating nation. The brother glances around and says, "Don't look at me! I've got nothing to offer! I have no idea how to even begin to fix this mess!" One is left with the impression that, since no one will stand up to lead, the desolation will continue.
God clearly points the finger of blame directly at the "women" who lead the people. They cause the nation to go astray in two ways: by implementing ungodly programs themselves or by weakly standing by as others do so. We have seen this happen in the nations of Israel over the past several decades, and the results are plain: They have rent the fabric of society and torn the nations' religious underpinnings to shreds.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Let Boys Be Boys!
The detrimental effect of sin also affects others, beginning with our family, friends, community, country, and the whole world. It is cumulative, with each new sin adding to the detrimental impact so that the enormity of suffering in the world today is beyond measure. We actually curtail our freedom, weighing ourselves down with bad habits. It changes our character, which impacts those who care for us. Each sin is a failure to become what we might have been, corroding our ability to reach our full potential. Self-absorption becomes almost literal; we devour ourselves till there is no proper love for God, oneself, or anyone else.
The apostle James expresses the result of sin succinctly, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15).
Martin G. Collins
Admission of Sin
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Isaiah 3:9: