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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, May 24 2023

Contributor: Joy Okpebri

We have been looking at the book of Isaiah which constitutes prophecy sometimes called the "Isaiah Apocalypse". Last week, we looked at the five burdens, weighty revelations via prophecy which became a burden to Isaiah – The basic theme being the encroachment of Babylon on God’s people and the reliance of Jerusalem on the strength of the city walls rather than on God. Today, we will be looking at Chapter 24 which contains the prophecy on the devastation of the land and Judgement on the people.

We will be looking into 3 main segments:
1. Destruction of Judah for its defilements and transgressions (Isaiah 24:1–12).
2. A remnant that will hold on to God and praise Him (Isaiah 24:13–16a).
3. God, by His judgments on His people and their enemies, will advance His Kingdom (Isaiah 24:16b–23).

Some of these sections contains some subsets as we go through the verses…
It is pertinent to state here that prophesies are basically a revelation of an action and its consequences. They are God’s warnings which when taken seriously, and correction done, would save the recipients from the consequences but if ignored will manifest.
Also, prophesies as the word of God, can replicate and transcend time in its advantages to bring to light an ongoing action, mindset and attitude while portraying the effect or consequences thus laying out a choice to continue in that trajectory, or make amends and prevent pending doom.
What we are looking at in this chapter is a microcosm or a small segment representing a greater demography. Isaiah’s prophesy does not just relate to the Babylonian conquest of Judah but applies to the earth and the purpose of mankind.

Destruction of the Current Earth (Isaiah 24:1–12)

a. The LORD’s Devastation of the Earth (Vs1)
In Vs1, Isaiah invites us to see.
We should bear in mind as we see the picture painted by Isaiah, that it is a representation of God’s judgement upon the earth and not just on Judah.
This tells of great devastation and tribulation we see that if it is left to run its course, no man will be saved. Same if the full consequence of the actions and sins of mankind are allowed to manifest, no one will survive. For the consequence of sin is death. But then by our own might shall no man succeed.
However, the consequence of our sin was laid upon Christ our saviour who has redeemed us from the course of the law. So, a choice is paced before mankind…now choose …Christ or death.

b. Everyone Will Be Affected (Vs. 2-3).
Vs 2 list out several type of people that would be affected by the judgement.
In these comparisons, Isaiah shows that all will be affected no matter their status in life… (Master, Mistress, Low station, Religious, economically buoyant, derelict, whether you believe in God or otherwise; not one of these statuses will protect one from the judgments of the LORD. When the judgment of the Great Tribulation comes, it will be complete in its scope.
The same with the wages of sin…it is death irrespective of your status on earth. The laws of heaven do not have different interpretations or perspectives.
The end of Vs 3 says: The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word.
God’s sovereignty is such that whatever He speaks will come to pass. Consider that He spoke creation into existence as seen in Genesis 1.

c. Destruction Came Up Because of The Actions of Mankind (4-6).
Vs 4-6 gives us the reason for the destruction and judgement.
The destruction is total. The earth dries up and wither while the heavens languish alongside.
Heaven also languishes because it is not the desire of God that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) He rather wishes for all to come to repentance so that they would be delivered from destruction.

Vs 5 of Isaiah 24 answer the questions…Is it God’s fault? is it His desire? Does He no longer want the redemption of man?
The answer to all these questions is No. It is the blatant and repeated rejection of God’s Words, His will, His mercy, and love, is what will bring the ultimate judgment: The Great Tribulation.

d. The Scene of Judgment (7-12).
Vs 7-12 paints the picture of the scene of judgment.
The things that we seem to think are so precious on this earth and we cannot do without, those activities we engage in that prevents us from Seeking and obeying God; will all turn to nothing.
When the LORD brings the judgment of the Great Tribulation, there will be no more “partying as usual.” The days for eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage (Matthew 24:38) are for before the Great Tribulation. When the Great Tribulation comes, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases.
The judgment will be so complete that the cities will look like bare olive trees. No fruit nor flavour…just chaff.

A Remnant That Will Hold on to God and Praise Him (Isaiah 24:13–16a)

Vs 13-16b shows the glory of God and the woes of mankind.
Even in the midst of great judgment and desolation, God has His own who will praise Him.
These will be a remnant who have turned back to God at the late hour after judgement have been unleashed. Revelation 7:9-14 refers to them as… those who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
This shows God’s desire for as many as possible to be saved. In His mercy, His Word is still in action that he who calls unto Him, anywhere and at any time, will be saved. This is clear in Romans 10:13… for, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The godly can see the goodness, the greatness, and the glory of God even in judgment, even in the great tribulation. We the believers know that God is gloriously righteous and merciful even in the full glare of our unfaithfulness and that is why we crawl back after going astray.
The question now is … “Why would we wait for consequences before we run back to God?”; Before we obey his ordinances. Isaiah is warning us ahead and we should heed now before the trumpet sounds, and it becomes too late.

God, by His Judgments on His People and Their Enemies, Will Advance His Kingdom Isaiah 24:16b–23.

a. The Character of God’s Judgment (16b-18).
While some repented, turned back and glorified God in the midst of the tribulation, some did not repent and got caught up in their destruction.

Vs 16b-18 shows that the judgment of the LORD will always be completed as the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.

Vs 17 mirrors the writing in the book of Revelations of this time of Great Tribulation. This judgement is specifically for the people of the earth. We can liken this to a divide between those who has received the salvation and kept away from sin and those who had wallowed in their sins and now suffer the consequences.

Vs.18 shows that the judgment of the LORD is inescapable. If you escape the fear or terror, you will fall into the pit. If you escape the pit, you will fall into the snare. God’s judgment has enough back-up plans to catch everyone because the wages of sin is death.

b. The Intensity of the Judgment of the LORD Touches Everything Vs. 19-20).
The weight of the guilt of man’s sins is likened to lava from a volcano. It forces itself to the surface violently and splits the earth as it goes. It consumes everything in its part and turns it all to ash.
The final act of judgement is being cast into hell where sinners shall burn for ever with great and violent suffering for eternity.

c. The Judgment of the LORD Will Touch Everyone (Vs. 21-23).
One of the more frustrating aspects of life is to see the rich, powerful, and wicked escape the present consequences of their sin. But in His great judgment during the Great Tribulation, no one will be able to buy a high-priced lawyer to escape judgment or bribe a politician to come out without being hurt.
God is the impartial judge. That is why we are advised to hold on to our salvation with fear and trembling so that after going so far, one slips up and still end up in hell. It is not a function of how long or how loudly one holds on to the claim of being a believer but the holding on and not looking back in steadfast believe and obedience to the instructions of God.
Under God’s great and final judgment, the status of princes, priests, heads of government and all else on this earth will buy them nothing.
It is very important to note that God’s purpose in judgment isn’t simple vengeance or vindictiveness, it is to bring about a glorious new world.

The entrance of the Word of God, brings light. The Word of God never fails. It always performs the enterprise to which it is sent. Prophecy could be for a particular duration, a season or open ended such that whoever receives it and works in it, will be delivered. It is not debarred by geographical, time or race constraints. We need to heed the warnings and ensure we do not run fowl of God’s Words. The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is eternal life.
But he that harkens to the voice of the Lord through His Word of commandments and exaltations, and warnings, will be upheld by the everlasting arms of God. This is the only true way of escape from the devastation and judgement to come.

Remember Ecclesiastes 10:8b…’He that breaks the hedge, the snake will bite’. The snake is symbolic of the devil whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy. So, the disobedient one is exposed to the workings of destruction and death while his salvation, protection is stolen.

This will not be our portion in Jesus Name. Amen

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