Bible Study: Isaiah 24:1-23
In today's lesson, God concludes His judgments against the nations by considering the earth in general.
Isaiah Chapter 24
Lessons from the text
God is not a respecter of persons. He treats everyone equally, giving everyone the opportunity to accept Him. Through His written word and the testimony of believers, the message of salvation has been spread throughout most of the world. How many Americans have heard the Gospel? In some form or fashion, they all have. But what do they do with it?
Verse 16 gives an answer: people have chosen to deal with the treacherous instead of God.
The Lord is righteous. He never goes back on His promises. Yet instead of turning to Him, people look to other people for wisdom, riches, and the fulfillment of the soul. God is so good that He gives every person, good or bad, rich or poor, the opportunity to accept Him and His Son. Why put your trust in man's ways? Why put faith in something that is constantly changing? God's ways are higher than man's ways, and He never changes.
If He is trying to reach out to you, accept His calling. He wants you just the way you are, in whatever shape you are in, and once you have accepted Him, then He will begin to work in your life to allow you to inherit the Kingdom of God as an equal to all the saints.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 After giving Isaiah judgments about specific nations, God is now turning His attention to the earth in general. He will make it waste when He destroys it with a fervent heat (II Pet 3:10), turn it upside down when He brings low all the rulers of earth and places those who were last as first (Mt 19:28-20:16), and scattereth abroad the inhabitants during the Tribulation Period (Rev 6:15-17).
2 God is no respecter of persons (Rom 2:11). All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). In God’s eyes, the lowest and highest members of society are equally guilty. Likewise, the least and the greatest are all equally righteous through Jesus Christ and able to inherit the same glorious kingdom.
3 God’s sovereignty is such that whatever He speaks will come to pass. Consider that He spoke creation into existence (Gen 1).
4 This verse continues the theme of bringing down the haughtiness of man started in chapter 2. As God reveals Himself, the works of man fades away, unable to stand in His holy presence.
5-6 When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they broke the covenant with God. Ever since then, there has been a curse on the earth (Gen 3:17). As sin grows and men refuse to repent (Rev 9:20-21), then the curse will eat up the world until most humans have been killed (see Rev 6:4-8, 8:7-12 9:15-18 for a list of events that reduce the population).
7 The new wine is the fruit of the Gospel (Mt 9:17). The vine is Israel (Rom 11:13-21). The merryhearted are the people of the world (Lk 24-25).
8-12 All the extravagant living of the world will stop under God's judgment. Those in sin cannot enjoy their sin in the reality of God's justice.
13 God’s judgment is often compared to purging, whether it be pulling out the tares (Mt 13:24-30), separating goats from sheep (Mt 25:31-33), etc. God is never punishing just to cause harm; He is intentionally removing what is bad so that He can elevate that which is good.
14-15 When God makes His presence known through judgment, all will give Him glory and praise. Even when going through trials (fires), praise God for His goodness.
16-17 The testimony of the believers is heard throughout the world. There is no excuse for not recognizing that one should give praise to God for His righteousness, but people still are consumed by their own desires; they want more than what God has given them, get into trouble by turning to the wrong people, and end up being betrayed by their choices. As Paul said, “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7).
18-20 When judgment comes, there is no escape. There is not one inch of the earth that will not be touched by God’s wrath. The cause of this wrath is the sin of its inhabitants.
21 Once again God says that He will bring down the pride or haughtiness of man. In Luke 14:11, Jesus says that anyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted, inverting the world’s hierarchy.
22-23 Despite their sin, God will still have mercy on humanity. When Jesus physically appears to reign over the earth, people will have one last chance to obey Him willingly.
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