Reading through the Bible together
In this chapter, Isaiah’s description is all about the End of Times. A number of things will happen consecutively which Isaiah vividly outlines. Plagues and devastating phenomena will happen because of the plan of the Lord (v. 1); which is also mentioned by Joel 1:15). The Lord “scatters the inhabitants of the earth” (v. 1) and the priest will suffer with the people, the master with the servant, and the fine lady with her maid (v. 2a).
Countries will lend their money to other countries and then will borrow it back again. The buyer will be like the seller. The country that borrowed money from another country to built factories will sell the goods back to the lender’s country. “The creditor is like the debtor” (v. 2b). Land “will be plundered and the earth completely destroyed” (v. 3), a theme that also is mentioned by other prophets.
There is a worldwide leadership drain (v. 4) “the exalted of the people of the earth fade away.” Spiritual pollution exists all over the globe because of “the transgressed laws and violated statutes” (v. 5). Those who live on the earth are considered guilty and the “earth is burned and only few men are left” (v. 6). Global warming will take its toll. Harvests will suffer (v. 7). Musical performances will cease (v. 8). The cities are broken down and the houses shut up (v. 10). Joy has turned to gloom (v. 11) for the city gates are reduced to rubble (v. 12). This is not just one city that Isaiah is describing, this is what “will be in the midst of the whole earth” (v. 13).
During this time, the faithful “raise their voices and shout for joy” (v. 14). It is the time of the Latter Rain and “they cry out from the west concerning the majesty of the Lord” therefore from the east will come the “glorify the Lord” (v. 15). The name of the Lord, the God of spiritual Israel, is glorified during this outpouring of the Spirit around the globe (Joel 2:28). “From the ends of the earth we hear songs ‘Glory to the Righteous One’” (v. 16).
The resultant Time of Trouble will have the faithful say like Isaiah “Woe is me. . .for the treacherous deal treacherously” with us (v. 16). Global persecution begins and “terror confronts the inhabitants of the earth” (v. 17). People will flee from terror, but “he who flees the disaster will fall into the pit” (v. 18). Some who will climb out of the pit will be caught in a snare. This is not humanly designed for “the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake” (v. 18c). “The earth is broken up, it is split, shaken violently, and reels to and fro like a drunkard” (v. 19-20).
The host of heaven (Satan and his angels) will be punished “that day” and so will the kings of the earth (v. 21). The kings will be confined to the grave and Satan to loneliness on earth for a 1000 years. “After many days [the 1000 years] the kings will live again and together with Satan will be destroyed” in the Executive Judgment by the Warrior Messiah or Christ in the final eradication of evil (v. 22).
In heaven, sun and moon will not be necessary (v. 23a). At that time, the Lord of hosts will reign in His glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on Mount Zion and in New Jerusalem in the assembly of His people (v. 23b-c).
Isaiah succeeded in opening our eyes to the fact that You are in control of history and of the future events on this earth. Lord, stay in control and keep us in the hollow of your hand so that we remain joyful amid the strange events around us. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea