Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

Part XXXVIII: God's Judgment On The World For Its Tyre-like Idolatrous Commercialism

(Isaiah 24:1-23)


I.              Introduction

A.    God's judgment on Tyre for its proud, ruthless commercialism in Isaiah 23:1-18 typifies His future Great Tribulation judgment on the worldwide idolatrous commercialism that continues to develop in today's world.

B.    Accordingly, Isaiah 24:1-23 shifts from the now-past Isaiah 23 judgment of Tyre's commercialism to that future Great Tribulation era judgment on worldwide idolatrous commercialism, with application for us:

II.           God's Judgment On The World For Its Tyre-like Idolatrous Commercialism, Isaiah 24:1-23.

A.    In a prophetic vision, the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord treating the earth like a man does a filled vessel when he is very angry -- pouring out its contents and then turning the vessel upside down over its messily scattered spill, Isaiah 24:1; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, volume II, p. 147.

B.    This destruction will come upon every class of mankind over the entire earth, the entire globe, Isaiah 24:2-3:

1.     The plight of the priest will be that of the people, that the master the servant, that of the mistress the maid, that of the seller the buyer, that of the borrower the lender and that of the debtor the creditor, Isaiah 24:2.

2.     For all classes of men in all realms of human experience, the earth will be hiboq tiboq, "emptied it will be emptied" and hibon tibon, "spoiled it will be spoiled", that is, "utterly emptied and utterly spoiled," Isaiah 24:3a ESV; Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 640; Ibid., Young, p. 153.

3.     The reality of this coming calamity is assured as the Lord had spoken the prophecy on it, Isaiah 24:3b.

C.    This destruction will occur due to God's judgment for man's disobedience to His laws and his breaking of "the everlasting covenant," Isaiah 24:4-5 KJV.  This guilt involves man's long rebellion against God's Word wherever and whenever it has been given, and that beginning with Adam, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1072!

D.    Thus, Isaiah described the huge devastation and great human suffering that will then occur, Isaiah 24:6-13:

1.     Due to the curse of sin, men will bear their guilt, and few will be left alive but scorched, Isaiah 24:6.  Such a state fits the devastating judgments predicted in the Revelation 4:1-19:21 Great Tribulation Period.

2.     Isaiah 24:7-13 describes how a once party-like atmosphere worldwide will be turned into a scene of total devastation as disaster had hit just when everyone was enjoying life to the full.

3.     The surface of the earth over all nations will look like a post- harvest scene -- like olive trees that have been beaten over or a vineyard that has been harvested and gleaned, the picture of empty ruin, Isa. 24:13.

E.     Isaiah 24:14-16a likely refers to "the righteous" like Isaiah "who will be left after God's judgment on the earth," Ibid.  Though few in number, they will rejoice "that the earth has been cleansed from people's sin," Ibid.  In contrast to the way the Assyrian advance and destruction was viewed with grief in Isaiah's day, the "believing remnant will view the earth's desolation as a righteous act by the righteous God," Ibid.

F.     However, for Isaiah in his era, he could only pronounce a woe on himself as the unfaithful, sinful people of Judah all around him were ripe for God's inescapably traumatic, destructive judgment, Isaiah 24:16b, Ibid.

G.    Indeed, God's judgment will overtake all sinners: if they escape one calamity such as a pit, another such as a snare will capture them, Isaiah 24:17-18 NIV; Ibid.

H.    Isaiah describes this period as a time of the dual calamity of a massive storm and a colossal earthquake when the earth figuratively reels like a drunkard due to the earthquake and sways like a grass hut in the storm's wind due to the burden of man's sin, with God's punishment being overwhelming to all men on earth, Isa. 27:19-20.

I.       God will punish the evil spiritual beings in the heavens as well as the kings of the earth, herding them together like prisoners in a dungeon to be punished at the end time, Isaiah 27:21-22; Ibid., p. 1072-1073.  Note how this description fits the judgments of Satan in Revelation 20:7-10 and of the lost in Revelation 20:11-15.

J.      Isaiah 24:23 anticipates the eternal state when the moon and sun will be ashamed before God Who reigns in His far greater glory on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem before His elders! (Ibid., p. 1073)  [These elders fit the theme of the 24 elders that typify the Church in Revelation 4:4 with 1:4-6! (Ibid., Young, p. 182)]


Lesson: Due to man's long disobedience as portrayed in idolatrous materialism, God will devastate man's world system and social order in the Great Tribulation, causing the upright to rejoice at His long-needed judgment.


Application: (1) May we obey the Lord to be among the upright even in our current evil age, and (2) may we patiently look for God's administration of justice in the end on a world that is fast becoming very ripe for it.