Our next portion is Isaiah 24:1-6
G-d’s judgment is severe, it is harsh, and it is thorough. This is why we need to be so thankful and grateful for the salvation that we have received through Yeshua’s death on the cross. After G-d’s judgment comes something good – the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d.
This prophecy in Isaiah 24 does not speak about something that would be fulfilled in Isaiah’s lifetime or prior to the first coming of Messiah. This is a last day’s prophecy. It speaks about G-d’s ultimate judgment (His wrath) that is going to change the face of this Earth. If G-d’s desire is to change the attitude, appearance and mindset of the world how much more does He desire that we, His people, are changed and transformed? (2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17).
v1: Note: The language used here is poetic and there is much parallelism. Frequently prophecy is delivered as poetry. This wide variety of vocabulary that is used gives us, the reader, a full understanding of what G-d is up to.
- Makes…empty: When something is made empty there is a destroying, a loss, a suffering. G-d’s judgment brings about loss, as those things that G-d judges are things which are not part of His will. Those things which do not manifest the glory of G-d are destroyed.
- Distorts its surface: (literally: Twists its face). When a person’s face changes it means that it is not like it was initially. When a person’s face changes it shows a different feeling, a different attitude, a different perspective. This twisting of the face of the earth’s surface implies that a change/a transition is coming. G-d’s judgment is going to bring about a transformation of His creation.
- Scatters: The word used here is a strong word. It is a word that implies a rapid or violent moving or casting away.
Note: Not only is there going to be a loss of wealth (‘empty’) but there is also going to be a great loss of life (‘scatters’ – a violent tossing aside of the inhabitants of the Earth). Those who are tossed aside will not be part of what G-d is about, and nor will they partake of the Kingdom that He is building.
v2: Note: What we have in this verse is people in a couple of different positions – different positions socially, economically, etc. Usually these positions are opposite one another (eg: servant and master). Under G-d’s judgment all these differences are going to melt away and everyone will be in the same or in a similar position. G-d’s judgment is a great equalizer. It puts everyone who has rejected the gospel on an equal footing, and all are on the same pathway – the pathway to eternal destruction.
v3: Emptied…plundered: Loss is being emphasized.
- The L-rd has spoken: All of this is coming about because G-d has said it will be so.
v4: The earth mourns and fades away: The Earth is not going to thrive. G-d’s judgment is going to bring mourning and a fading away, a withering. This is simply a word that is a manifestation of decay. It manifests a dying process. This is what is going to happen to creation – it is going to change by means of death. This should not surprise us. Death (the death of Messiah and our dying with Him – Roms 6:6-11) is what brings about a change in our lives.
- Languishes: It is going to be miserable, loathsome.
- Haughty (exalted) people: Those who have a high position. Those who are in control. They are the ones who have the finer things in life, a greater degree of resources, authority, and power. They are not going to escape G-d’s judgment.
v5: The earth is defiled under its inhabitants: It is not the earth (creation) which is to blame for its defilement – the inhabitants of the earth (humanity) are the problem. In Judaism that which is last is first/primary in thought. This means that what G-d created last (man) was His first or primary purpose for creation. G-d prepared creation for man, but man has brought corruption or defilement to creation.
- The laws: The commandments of G-d. When the commandments are transgressed there will be no righteousness. Without righteousness there will be no manifestation of G-d’s glory. The absence of His glory soon leads to His judgment.
- Changed the ordinance: They have made up their own laws, which are in violation to G-d’s laws or standards.
- Everlasting (eternal) covenant: This is the eternal covenant related to Messiah. They have violated this covenant (the gospel) due to their lack or absence of faith.
v6: The curse has devoured: The outcome of rejecting G-d’s truth is that a curse is activated in the earth.
- Desolate (literally: Guilty). The Word of G-d clearly reveals what the problem is. When we violate G-d’s laws, His statutes, His standards then we are guilty before Him. Guilt produces shame.
- Burned: Set ablaze with fire.
- Few men are left: The humanity that remains will be small in amount.