Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 24

Today's message from Isaiah 24 is not a happy one. Dealing with the destruction of the world is not an easy topic to digest, but that is where we find ourselves in Isaiah 24. Previously, we have seen specific judgments against Israel and Judah's enemies. We know from history that many of these judgments, like the one discussed yesterday against Tyre, actually did come to pass. This next one, however, has yet to occur because it involves the entire earth. This is a sweeping judgment against everyone because of sin. Sin has invaded everyone, as there is not one single person that is immune to sin. Only Christ was sinless, and therefore has the power to forgive sin.

1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth
       and devastate it;
       he will ruin its face
       and scatter its inhabitants-

 2 it will be the same
       for priest as for people,
       for master as for servant,
       for mistress as for maid,
       for seller as for buyer,
       for borrower as for lender,
       for debtor as for creditor.

 3 The earth will be completely laid waste
       and totally plundered.
       The LORD has spoken this word.

 4 The earth dries up and withers,
       the world languishes and withers,
       the exalted of the earth languish.

 5 The earth is defiled by its people;
       they have disobeyed the laws,
       violated the statutes
       and broken the everlasting covenant.

 6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
       its people must bear their guilt.
       Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up,
       and very few are left. – Isaiah 24:1-6

In the face of this dire prediction, is there any hope? Since we are all sinners, we are all subject to this judgment. We see in verse two that the judgment will be equal for everyone regardless of their station in life. So where is the hope? Well, at the very end of verse six there is a small ray of hope, and there are small rays of hope throughout this chapter. The end of verse six states that there are very few left after this judgment. Who are those few? These are the ones that have trusted in the Lord and sought Christ for forgiveness. God is not willing that anyone should perish, but there are many who will because they refuse to accept this simple gift of salvation.

The message is so simple that it is understandable why God would be so dramatic and thorough in His judgment. God hates sin, but He loves us. He has provided a way out of that sin that is so simple that many scholars have debated it in its simplicity for centuries. By accepting Christ into our hearts, we become His and we are therefore separated from our sin. This makes us exempt from this judgment. When that happens, we will see this from a completely different perspective, sheltered away as children of God. That is yet another small ray of hope that we see in this message.


  1. How will this judgment take place in the future?
  2. Why is it God is still praised in the face of this judgment in verses 15 and 16?
  3. How can you take this warning to heart today?

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