Original Publication Date
December 8, 2018
Jan 28, 2023 6:44 PM
IsaiahChapter StudyProphecyJudgementFalse Deities and Prophets
This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on December 8, 2018
The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.
Beginning in Isaiah 13, Isaiah relays judgments on specific nations, most of whom we're familiar with based on their interactions with Israel thus far. However, we already know that when all is said and done, every nation will face judgment. Naturally, Isaiah concludes his list of judgements with a judgement for the whole world. Nothing sounds more urgent and dire than the words of Isaiah 24:1:
Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
All People are Equal
The Bible is clear that God does not favor people based on wealth or status the way mankind does, in fact several verses suggest God prefers the poor. When the judgement of the world comes, all people will have to stand before God and account for themselves. The same thing will be happening to those who were in positions of power and had wealth (priests, masters, merchants/CEOs, lenders, etc.) as those who were disadvantaged (congregations, slaves/servants, consumers, borrowers, etc.). Money and power will not absolve anyone from the events of the end time or the final judgement.
The Earth Defiled
I've always found it interesting that if you look at a map of the world, the place where humanity began and has lived the longest, is mostly desert (the Middle East and Northern Africa). There have been many battles fought in these lands and thus, much blood has been spilt upon the land.
When Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3:17), God cursed the ground because of our sin. This is the curse Isaiah is referring to in Isaiah 24:6. In both Leviticus 18:24-28 and Numbers 35:33, He tells us that the Earth suffers because of our sin. One thing climate change scientist definitely have right is that we are destroying the Earth. Many of the behaviors scientist are trying to curb to help slow the effects of climate change (Biblically known as the sign of the times), are rooted in sin—mainly pride and greed. We have become complacent with abusing the world around us to get what we want, because we value our wants and desires above all things.
Signs of Fulfillment
The fulfillment of this prophecy is the end of days, which is more fully described in Daniel and Revelation. However, here, we are given many signs that signal this time is upon us. Some of these signs are fires (Isaiah 24:6), famines (Isaiah 24:7), population decline (Isaiah 24:6, 13), an earthquake (Isaiah 24:18-20), and changes in the sun and moon (Isaiah 24:23). The population decline may be difficult to understand from Isaiah 24:13 if you've never worked in a garden or on a farm, but the context would have been very clear for Isaiah's contemporaries. Just before you harvest a field, the plants are abundant with fruit—ripe, overripe, and unripe alike. However, after you have harvested the field the plants are practically bare. The olive tree mentioned in the verse would have very few olives left after the harvest, which means likewise, the cities will have very few people left.
Right now, the people in charge rarely face consequences. Those with money and power can get away with murder, rape, theft, and anything else they want. Our justice system is imperfect, and we rely on judges that can be bribed (or are guilty themselves). This is frustrating, but we can be assured that in the end, God will serve justice to everyone. In Isaiah 24:21-22 God promises to gather the powerful together and imprison them for their wrong doing.
The host of the high ones likely refers to fallen angels. The pagan deities that have been worshipped throughout time are likely fallen angels who were hungry for worship like Satan. Like the earthly kings of power who have seemingly been escaping judgement all this time, they too will be held accountable for all their confusion and destruction.
The Lord Most High
At the end of this judgement, God will claim His throne as King of Kings, the Lord Most High. All the world will come to worship Him. His throne will be in the new Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23; Revelation 3:12).
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PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.