Verse 1 – Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants.
While chapters 13-23 focused on the judgments of particular nations, chapters 24-27 speak of the whole earth.
Verse 2 – And it shall be : As with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, 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.
This is a way of saying: All inhabitants of the earth will be judged without regard for social standing.
Verse 3 – The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the Lord has spoken this word.
Verse 4 – The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the haughty people of the earth languish.
Verse 5 – The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
Not only the people suffer from their sins, even the land suffers the effects of evil and lawbreaking. Sin affects every aspect of society, that even the faithful suffer. However, the believers can make a difference, one person at a time.
Verse 6 – Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
This curse is referring to Deuteronomy 27-28. Moses spoke to all the people and told them, “Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the Lord your God. He then gives them the proclamation of the curses. I believe you will find it very interesting, so why not read it. These curses can still apply today in “What not to do!”
Verse 7 – The new wine fails, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh.
Verse 8 – The mirth of the tambourine ceases, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases.
Verse 9 – They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
Judgment from God brings all this happy-heart wine drinking to an end.
Verse 10 – The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, so that none may go in. (The city of chaos is not a specific city. It represents the evil men and women who are subject to God’s judgment.)
Verse 11 – There is crying for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth (cheerfulness) of the land is gone.
All the festivals will come to an end because there is no wine to celebrate with. Wine also blunts pain. This may be another reason the people cry out.
Verse 12 – In the city desolation is left, and the gate is stricken with destruction.
Verse 13 – When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, it shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.
After harvest, an olive tree or a grape-vine only have a few olives or grapes left and so few will the people be when God’s judgment is finished.
Verse 14 – They shall lift up their voices, they shall sing; for the majesty of the Lord they shall cry aloud from the sea. (This is talking about the remnant that is left.)
Verse 15 – Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light, the name of the Lord God of Israel in the coast-lands of the sea.
Verse 16 – From the ends of the earth we have heard song: “Glory to the righteous!” But I said, “I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.
The believers who are left behind after God’s judges Judah will sing to the glory of God’s righteousness. Isaiah grieved because of the world’s condition.
Even as believers, we can become depressed and saddened by the way this world has turned its back on God. However, we stand on God’s promises that some day soon there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which to worship and honor our King Jesus.
Verse 17 – Fear and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.
Verse 18 – And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who comes up from the midst of the pit shall be caught in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken.
Fear, pit, and the snare, stand for the judgment God has prepared for the inhabitants of the earth. The open windows from on high suggest rain and a possible flood. The shaking of the foundations is earthquakes.
Verse 19 – The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly.
This verse is repeated to awaken the Israelites whom have ignored the warnings of God;’s coming judgment.
Verse 20 – The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again.
This judgment is connected to rebellion against God by virtually all the people on earth.
Verse 21 – It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on earth the kings of the earth.
This verse is in the future, but unspecified time. On high, the exalted ones, could possible mean pagan deities that people have exalted above God and or, fallen angels.
Verse 22 – They will be gathered together; as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.
Verse 23 – Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.
Now, some think these verse are referring to Israel’s captivity in Babylon for 70 years, but then what do you do with verse 23, where the “moon is disgraced and the sun ashamed?” Let me show you with scripture: All those who choose to rebel against God, who don’t believe in Christ, will wait, and in prison, in the pit, until the day of the Great White Throne Judgment.
Revelation 20:5 – But the rest (those who refused to believe) of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Their punishment comes starting in verse 11, after the thousand-year reign where King Jesus reigns and the devil is “shut up”. (verse 11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them, (verse 12) and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things written in the books. (verse 14) Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (verse 15) and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Now look at the last verses of Isaiah 24:23 where the moon is disgraced and the sun is ashamed. Revelation 21:23 – And the City (Jerusalem) had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light.
The moon and the sun’s light is so minute in comparison to Christ, that in that day when Christ reigns, they just disappear! Nothing can outshine Christ’s glory!!