Isaiah 24:1-3 (ESV)
Behold, the LORD will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
as with the slave, so with his master;
as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller;
as with the lender, so with the borrower;
as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered;
for the LORD has spoken this word.
This chapter is the description of worldwide devastation at the hand of God. Verse 4 tells us that in those days even “the highest people of the earth languish.” No one can hide from the hand of God. This is a sobering chapter, but it ends on a positive note. Isaiah 24:23 continues the description of devastation: “Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed.” But the verse closes the chapter with these words: “For the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.”
Creator God will not put up with a world that has attributed his glory to his creation. All creation reflects the glory of God, but it does not emanate, radiate, or originate glory. It only reflects his glory. The world has “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 ESV). How can we expect anything less than exactly what Isaiah 24 describes?
Whatever happens in our world, however long it lasts, however good or bad it becomes, since we have exalted creation to the place of God, and made God someone to be controlled, manipulated, or ignored, we cannot expect him to remain silent. At some point the God who appears to be silent will be silent no longer. The world that rejected him will experience his wrath. This is not because he is a vindictive, arrogant, short-tempered, and self-centered god. He will judge because we who were put in charge of his creation worshiped creation instead of the Creator. In doing so, we destroyed the very thing we were designed to protect.
This is why, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16 ESV).
John 3:34-36 (ESV)
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
We have Good News for a world facing destruction. Let’s not hide it.