Judgment on the Nations.
Judgment on the Nations.
1 Draw near, O nations, to hear,
and give attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
the world, and all that comes from it.
2 For the LORD is enraged against all the nations,
and furious against all their host;
he has devoted them to destruction,
has given them over for slaughter.
3 Their slain shall be cast out,
and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
the mountains shall flow with their blood.
4 All the host of heaven shall rot away,
and the skies roll up like a scroll.
All their host shall fall,
as leaves fall from the vine,
like leaves falling from the fig tree.
5 For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom,
upon the people I have devoted to destruction.
6 The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood;
it is gorged with fat,
with the blood of lambs and goats,
with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 Wild oxen shall fall with them,
and young steers with the mighty bulls.
Their land shall drink its fill of blood,
and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
8 For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9 And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch,
and her soil into sulfur;
her land shall become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it shall not be quenched;
its smoke shall go up forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
none shall pass through it forever and ever.
11 But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it,
the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
He shall stretch the line of confusion over it,
and the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles—there is no one there to call it a kingdom,
and all its princes shall be nothing.
13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,
nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
It shall be the haunt of jackals,
an abode for ostriches.
14 And wild animals shall meet with hyenas;
the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;
indeed, there the night bird settles
and finds for herself a resting place.
15 There the owl nests and lays
and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;
indeed, there the hawks are gathered,
each one with her mate.
16 Seek and read from the book of the LORD:
Not one of these shall be missing;
none shall be without her mate.
For the mouth of the LORD has commanded,
and his Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them;
his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;
they shall possess it forever;
from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.
Chapter 33 ended with Isaiah looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. Chapter 34 places the backdrop for this new heaven and new earth by detailing the judgment of the wicked of the old earth upon the "day of the Lord." This "day of the Lord" results from God's righteous anger against the sin and rebellion of His creation. [Isaiah 34:8 -- "For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion."]
"Edom" is highlighted as the portrayal of God's enemies [initially, we are all enemies of God, having been born into spiritual darkness; it is only through the atoning work of Christ that we can become a "friend" or child of God, having been brought into His light]. Edom is the name given to Esau [the twin brother of Jacob] and his descendants; a people that had repeatedly rejoiced at the travails of God's chosen people Israel. ["Isaiah 34:5 -- "For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to destruction; also see Revelation 6:12-17"]
The Lord is coming down as a sharp sword, for He is doing battle against His enemies. The salvation of God is two-fold; it is the gracious preservation of the imputed righteousness of His children, and it is the just eternal sentencing of His enemies. It is the disobedient who will be punished, and unrepentance causes one to remain in the state of disobedience. Thus, the vengeance of the Lord is reserved for the disobedient. Thus, a child of God should endeavor to live a life of obedience; a life set apart from the rubble of a fallen world. His judgment shall be sure, and it shall be swift. Praise God for His protection from His just wrath. [Isaiah 34:16 -- "Seek and read from the book of the LORD: Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without her mate. For the mouth of the LORD has commanded, and his Spirit has gathered them."]
Heard 'Round the House:
I coach Luke's baseball team. The kids are 11 and 12. One kid has a friend that comes with him. The friend is 14. I let him practice with us, and he is about the most excited kid out there. He calls me "coach," just like the other kids. Last night after practice, he asked about this week's practice schedule. I said we would practice on Tuesday at 6 pm and on Thursday at 6 pm. He earnestly tells me that he could make tomorrow's practice but that Thursday would be a problem for him. I told him that was ok and not to worry about it. He seemed relieved by my flexibility with his schedule This cracks me up, since he is not on the team and not even eligible to be on the team. Now, if I could get the guys actually on the team to be just as excited about practice . . .