They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord ’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord ; exalt the name of the Lord , the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One.” But I said, “I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!” Terror and pit and snare await you, people of the earth. Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is violently shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again. In that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory. – Isaiah 24:14-23
There was much discussion over the last few days about the end times and a coming Apocalypse. The reason for this doom-saying was a rare lunar event, the conjunction of a lunar eclipse and a “blood moon”. We are safely past this event and the world seems to still be ticking along so perhaps we have more time left. This passage describes a coming calamity that rivals any of the dire predictions made in recent times. A prediction of coming calamity for a location in the middle east never goes out of date.
There seems to be a polarization that is occurring here. Some people are acknowledging and praising God, they “shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord ’s majesty” while others are experiencing incredible wrath and despair, “whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. Does this sound familiar? The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake.” The coming calamity will shake the whole earth and will shake each person to their core, perhaps stripping everyone down to their souls.
Times of trial tend to reveal who we really are inside. Those whose souls are pure shine brighter, while those who have souls that are less than pure tend to wither under the pressure. It is interesting that the wrath described here will apply to both earthly beings and those that live in heaven — “In that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below.” I am not sure I fully understand what this part of the passage is saying. Are there souls already in heaven that will be under judgment? Are there heavenly beings that have fallen from grace and require correction? Certainly there are references in the new testament about fallen angels and evil that exists in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12).
The “end of the story” is that God will rule on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. From the ashes of the City of David God will rise again. If we take Jesus to be the fulfillment of this promise then His death and crucifixion in Jerusalem would be the point at which He was enthroned for all time as the king of all people, living and dead, body and spirit. He bridged the chasm separating those subject to the despair and disappointment in this Land of Oblivion and those that hunger and thirst for the undiscovered country where He dwells. He showed us the way to get there.
Prayer: God thank You for showing us the way to overcome the calamities that we may experience here on earth while we are waiting for the time when we will join You.