THE BOOK OF ISAIAH
Noah’s Day in the Future
Isaiah 24 6/23/13 SCC
God’s judgment on the nations through the Assyrian invasions we have seen in chapters 13-23 forms the backdrop for the Lord’s eventual judgment on the whole earth. The section from Isaiah 24-27 is known as the ‘little apocalypse’ and describes the earth’s devastation and people’s intense suffering during the coming Tribulation along with the blessings to follow in Christ’s rule on the earth and eventually on into the eternal realm of the New Heavens and Earth. We will learn what this judgment produces for the earth, its inhabitants, and those who name Christ as their Lord and Savior.
FINAL JUDGMENT WILL BE CATACYCLYSMIC FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD
Social Chaos and Natural Disaster 1-6
Verse1: A massive earthquake, shaking entirety of the land. He would do the reverse of what He did in the Creation when He brought order out of chaos. He would devastate the earth, making it desolate. He would distort the surface of the earth, as when the Flood changed the topography of this planet. And He would scatter the earth’s inhabitants, as He did at Babel.
Verse 2: Breakdown in social order following such a cataclysm. No more distinctions in society. Government structure disappears for a time in social order (like Katrina). God’s actions will affect all individuals in all types of relationships, including religious, domestic, and commercial ones. Positions, possessions, and power will make no difference to God. There is no advantage with any.
Verse 3: Further description of the destruction. It cannot be averted any longer. It is signed sealed and will be delivered. The ‘plundering’ is disaster and looting becomes the norm. The fact of the earth’s destruction, rather than the precise methods and instruments He will use, were the focus of this prophet’s revelation. This is certain because the Lord says so!
Verse 4: The people begin to get involved in the picture. It shifts from the land as an inanimate object suffering pangs of the cataclysm, to the people and the leaders in the land they inhabit. It is the people of the earth that are the objects of God’s judgment, not just the planet itself. All of humanity, even the most exalted individuals, would mourn and fade under the withering judgment of Yahweh. The God of creation is acting as sovereign in His creation. It was made to be a stage for Him and mankind to interact, but His creatures have polluted and defiled it by their action. It was created for abundance, but now lies judged and unproductive.
Verse 5: Nature suffers because of mankind's sin. The reason the land is rebelling is because of its dwellers and the sins of the dwellers. They exchanged Gods rules with their rules and annulled the eternal covt. Maybe it is the Israelite people who transgressed or basic humanity or the nations transgressing. This everlasting covenant would relate to the taking of human life. Murder has consequences! Life belongs to God. He wants mankind to be fruitful and fill the earth, not kill each other!
Verse 6: The results: the land and dwellers are eaten up and punished. Being singed or burned. Very few people left possibly the Tribulation period. God has cursed sin so when people sin they set His curse to work, and it devours the earth. God’s judgment is likened to a burning fire consuming all but a few on the earth.
Desolation, Ruin, and Despair 7-13
Verse7: There is a withering away of happiness along with the withering of the land v 4. Here he is castigating wine and it will bring happiness no more. Revelers sigh in grief. The fruit of the vine is often associated with merriment but not so now.
Verse 8: There is no more pleasure and happy sounds or merrying. Music, likewise, cannot keep people’s spirits up anymore. Parties and music will cease for lack of reason. When Gods wrath arrives all will be gloomy and desolate.
Verse 9: The liquor is bitter and no one to drink it. There is simply no reason to celebrate and drink any longer. Even while people drink their wine they cannot bring themselves to sing for joy. Their beer is flat and it fails to provide the desired uplift.
Verse 10: All houses are closed for entry. No more partying. That’s all over. A spirit of fear pervades this city. There is a play throughout this literary unit on "a city." It is not specifically identified and, therefore, seems to be a symbol of all human society functioning apart from God. The city is representative of the whole earth.
Verse 11: Wanting to sell the wine, they are yelling in the streets that it is for sale but no one wants to buy since there is no reason to do so. Stimulants fail to bring lasting joy andwhat joy there is sours, and gaiety is gone. God started over with His creation with Noah now He will do it again!
Verse 12: Gates are the place where judges sat and politics decided and entry into the market available. The political force of the city is closed. Not only is life desolate but it is also defenseless.
Verse 13: This is all there is left just like a few olives or grapes are left after harvest. So few people left there is no govt, no system, no people, no happiness. No body eating or drinking the wine. So much death and destruction and so few survivors. Not just Israel but also the suffering of the main civilizations of the earth. But there will be a few people left at the end of the harvest; a remnant will survive.
Survivors Praise God for Deliverance 14-18
Verse 14: So these few people will lift up and sing out about the glory of god. They will sing from the seas. Again a global destruction is foreseen and those who survived proclaim glory to God.
Verse 15: The ones who survived are glorying in God’s name. The sense is the dwellers of the islands of the seas are calling out in recognition that God is responsible for the destruction and decided to save these few. Because the remnant will praise God in the west v 14, Isaiah called for praise of Him in the east v 15 as well and for universal praise v 16.
FINAL JUDGMENT WILL BRING A COMPLETE REVERSAL IN THE UNIVERSE
The Unrighteous will suffer judgment 16-18
Verse 16: Isaiah anticipated himself and others hearing the remnant praise God for His righteousness proclaiming how beautiful is god. But Isaiah said I am wasting away. These are the faithless of the nations who act against God and Isaiah is crying out for the sake of His own people. These non-Jews were faithless. Did they really deserve deliverance, salvation and happiness? These non-Jews receive what was not fair. Now that there is a catastrophe and they are saved did they deserve it? And if so, what will happen to us?
Verse 17: The prophet like Jonah let’s them have it. Now there will be terror and pits and snares. So here is a little riddle given to them. Humans will try to flee God's judgment only to find disaster. Trying to escape one danger they will be overcome by another calamity. These are judgments of the Tribulation.
Verse 18: Here he explains. It could be fear of earthquake or invading armies and fall into pits but those who manage to scramble out will be ensnared. You will fall and be caught. The foundations of the earth will shake at this. God Himself would be the agent of their destruction. God’s judgment will be like a great rainstorm and earthquake.
The earth will suffer destruction 19-20
Verse 19: The earth or land will be breaking, crumbling, and then totters. Like a tall building in an earthquake, the earth will crack, begin to sway, and break apart. What God had ordered would again become chaos.
Verse 20: The prophet compared the earth under divine judgment to a reeling drunkard about to collapse and to an old shack about to fall down. The land will be crumbling and tooter and sway like a drunk. It will shake back and forth like a temporary hut in the wind. The weight of the iniquity will be too heavy for it because of the sinful ones living in it. Think about how righteous sinfulness is made today! You cannot even speak against it without legal and financial reprisals from the world’s inhabitants!!!!! God is not going to let this go unpunished.
The End ushers in a New Beginning 21-23
Verse 21: Here is the apocalyptic section so it will happen in those days. God will remember to punish. The heavens will be battled against and so will the lords of all the nations on earth. When the Lord brings universal judgment on the world again, He will sovereignly punish all unfaithful authorities both in the heavenly realm, its spiritual dark forces, and the earthly, its political forces banished.
Verse 22: Then a great gathering at the jail and these kings of the earth will be locked up in these prisons. Then they will be punished. Before God will punish them, He will confine them in a pit. This refers to the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 21 after Christ reigns when all he unrighteous will have to stand before God and be judged for their deeds.
Verse 23: The moon and sun, the most glorious rulers of human life, in the physical sense, will be ashamed by the appearance of an even more glorious ruler. When God rules in Zion in Jerusalem and he reveals himself to his elders the moon and sun will not be necessary any longer. God will be the light as the new heaven and the new earth are filled with the glory of God. A massive change will result in the way the world works. God will rule in Jerusalem. The Jewish people will have the honor due to them when God gets his glory in the time of the messiah.
1. The entire world order is doomed. Do not stake your hope on world affairs. Politics and diplomacy can only at best provide damage control in the world today. Threats continue to push world affairs to the breaking point. Spill over from intrigue, greed, hostility, pride, jealousy, and wealth will motivate the diplomacy of the world. Eventually, it will self-destruct; God will intervene, and end it all.
2. Our job is not to fix it. Recognizing the world and its systems ultimate demise, we should do all the good we can to all the people we can with all the resources we can whenever we can but not as our mandate. Our mandate is to make disciples who can and will be salvaged from the devastation awaiting our universe. Christ will devise a universal, eternal realm, finally free from the human intrigue we see today in the marketplace and the political stage. His people alone will inhabit that realm forever.