God’s day to destroy evil is at hand
1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw. 2 Lift up a banner on a windswept mountain, raise your voice to them, shake the hand so that they may go into the gates of the nobles. 3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for my anger, even those that rejoice in my highness.
- Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like a great people; a tumultuous noise of kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts musters the army of the battle. 5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. 6 Howl; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it will come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 All hands will be faint, and every man's heart will melt: 8 They will be afraid: pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth: they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be as flames.
- The Lord uses the heathen as a weapon against evil.
- This warning was a chance for the people to turn back to the Lord to be saved.
- God sent this warning like He sent Jonah to warn Nineveh; the Ninevites turned to God and were saved. This was Babylon’s chance.
The Lord is going to destroy sinners out of the land
9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he will destroy its sinners out of it. 10 The stars of heaven and its constellations will not give their light: the sun will be darkened in his going forth, and the moon will not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and bring down the haughtiness of the ruthless. 12 I will make mortal man scarcer than fine gold; and mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. 14 And it will be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man takes up: every man will turn to his own people, every one will flee into his own land. 15 Every one that is found will be thrust through; and anyone that is captured will fall by the sword.16 Their children will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered, and their wives ravished.
The Lord stirred up an enemy against them that could not be bribed
17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it. 18 Their bows will dash the young men to pieces; and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye will not spare children. 19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' excellency, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It will never be inhabited, neither will it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither will the Arabian pitch a tent there; neither will the shepherds make their fold there. 21 But wild beasts of the desert will lie there; and their houses will be full of doleful creatures; and owls will dwell there, and satyrs will dance there. 22 And the wild beasts of the islands will cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.
- The Lord makes desolate those who choose to follow evil instead of their Maker.
The Lord gives His people rule over their oppressors
1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and foreigners will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2 And people will take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel will possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they will take them as captives, whose captives they were; and they will rule over their oppressors. 3 And it will happen in the day that the LORD will give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, 4 That you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How the has oppressor ceased! The golden city/the exactress of gold ceased!
- God changed Jacob’s name from cheater to prince of God after God taught Jacob to trust the Lord rather than his own devices.
- When God uses the name Jacob in scripture it reminds us of the sinful part of our nature. When He uses the name Israel it reminds us of the spiritual side of our nature.
- Psalm 36:5 Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and Your faithfulness reaches unto the clouds.
5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, and the scepter of the rulers. 6 He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindered. 7 The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. 8 Yes, the fir trees rejoice at you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you are laid down, no feller is come up against us. 9 Hell from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming: it stirs up the dead for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
- The Lord is speaking of the wicked in these verses.
- Earth will rejoice when the wicked are defeated.
- Dr. Maurice Rawlins in his book, Beyond Death’s Door, speaks of resuscitating patients in cardiac arrest.
- Some come back screaming ‘I am in hell.’
- When he interviewed them immediately afterward, they knew hell was a real, literal place of fire. They had just been there.
10 They will all speak and say to you, Have you become as weak as we? Have you become like us? 11 Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your harps: the worm is spread under you, and the worms cover you. 12 How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (angels): I will sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
- Clouds are mentioned 150 times in scripture.
- 100 of those times is in reference to the divine presence of God.
- The shortest definition of sin is ‘I’ or ‘I will.”
- Envy of God motivated Lucifer’s fall. He was not content with his exalted position.
- “Adam’s fall reflected Satan’s unholy ambition to reach beyond the sphere into which he was placed by infinite wisdom where he might know the benefit of infinite power and be sustained and blessed by infinite love.” Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol.2 p.212.
- Satan is foolish to aspire to be like God because he isn’t smart enough or powerful enough to create and sustain a universe, let alone himself.
- The magicians in Pharoah’s court displayed the extent of Satan’s power. They could only duplicate the first few plagues.
- Satan aspires to: Take the highest heavenly position, Possess the legal right to heaven and earth, Be recognized as Messiah, Possess the glory which belongs to God alone, Be identical to God the Father, like the Son and Holy Spirit are identical to the Father
15 Yet you will be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 Those that see you will look narrowly on you and consider you, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that shook kingdoms; 17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities; that did not release his prisoners homeward?18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the clothing of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trampled under feet. 20 You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people: the seed of evildoers will never be mentioned. 21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise or possess the land, or fill the face of the world with cities.
The Lord cuts off evil and those that associate with it
22 For I will rise up against them, says the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, says the LORD. 23 I will make it a possession for the hedgehog, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the LORD of hosts. 24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so will it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so it will stand: 25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and trample him under foot on my mountains: then his yoke will depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed on the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out on all the nations.
None can stop what God intends
27 For the LORD of armies has purposed, and who can cancel it? And his hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? 28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden. 29 Do not rejoice, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that struck you is broken: for out of the serpent's root will come a viper, and his fruit will be a fiery flying serpent. 30 And the firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety: and I will kill your root with famine, and he will kill its remnant. 31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; you, all Palestine, are dissolved: for a smoke will come from the north, and he will not be alone in his appointed times/assemblies. 32 What can one answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, and the poor of his people will trust in it.
- God feeds and protects the poor and the needy.
- Zion was the last place in the promised land to be conquered. It was possessed by the Jebusites (tramplers).
- Four hundred years after Israel possessed the land, the Jebusites still lived in Jerusalem.
- The first thing David did when made king over Israel was to believe God’s promise of victory and conquer the Jebusites.
- Zion represents complete victory over all the enemies of thoughts that trample down our minds like fear, worry, hatred, anger, lust etc.
- 2 Samuel 5:6-7 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: who spoke to David, saying, Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you will not come in here: thinking, David cannot come in here. 7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
God warns us because He loves us
1 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; 2 He has gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab will howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads will be baldness, and every beard cut off.
- Like Adam in Eden, man is given a choice.
- These chose death, not life, and now have the baldness of mourning.
- This is a warning; they still have time to turn back to God.
- Just like God sent Jonah to Nineveh, He sent this warning to Moab.
- He hoped that they would turn to their Maker and be saved.
- John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds be reproved. 21 But he that does truth comes to the light so that his deeds may be shown, that they are worked in God.
3 In their streets they will wrap themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one will howl, weeping abundantly. 4 And Heshbon will cry, and Elealeh: their voice will be heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab will cry out; his life will be grievous to him. 5 My heart will cry out for Moab; his fugitives will flee to Zoar, a heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping will they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they will raise up a cry of destruction. 6 For the waters of Nimrim will be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass fails, there is no green thing.
- God withholds the rain to get them to return to Him (Zechariah 14:17).
7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, they will carry away to the valley of the Arabians/brooks of the willows. 8 For the cry has gone round about the borders of Moab; its howling to Eglaim, and its howling to Beerelim. 9 For the waters of Dimon will be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions on him that escapes of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.
- Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return to the LORD: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we will live in his sight. 3 Then we will know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he will come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain on the earth.
1 Send the (tribute) lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. 2 For it will be that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab will be at the fords of Arnon (river). 3 Take counsel, execute judgment; make your shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; do not betray him that wanders. 4 Let my outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be a refuge to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The Lord’s throne will be established in mercy
5 The throne will be established in mercy/love: and he will sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and speeding righteousness. 6 We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his arrogance, and his pride, and his wrath: his idle boasts are false. 7 Therefore Moab will howl for Moab, every one will howl: you will mourn for the foundations of Kirhareseth; surely they are struck down. 8 For the fields of Heshbon have withered, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have trampled down their choice clusters, they have come even to Jazer and wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they have gone over the sea.
- Matthew 25:31-32 When the Son of man will come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then will he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him will be gathered all nations: and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:
- Psalm 96:13 (rejoice) Before the LORD: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth: he will judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
He wails and waters with His tears
9 Therefore I will wail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water you with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for your summer fruits and for your harvest has fallen. 10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there will be no singing, neither will there be shouting: the treaders will tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease. 11 Therefore my heart intones like a harp for Moab, and my inward feelings for Kirharesh.12 And it will come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he will come to his sanctuary to pray; but he will not prevail.
- Notice this is not the nation of His chosen people that the Lord is weeping over.
- All peoples and all nations belong to Him.
- The high place was the place of idol worship. God always reveals His reasons right in the passage of scripture.
- In verse 3, God advises them to seek counsel of Him and act rightly.
- In verse 4 He talks of spoilers, oppressors, and extortioners.
- In verse 6 Moab is very proud, haughty, filled with wrath and lies.
- This idolatry is the source of it all.
- God fulfills man’s need. Idols don’t.
- Therefore the Moabites were trying unjust means to get what they needed and wanted.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
13 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning Moab since that time. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab will be despised, with all that great multitude; and the remnant will be very small and feeble.
SUMMARY: Isaiah 13-16
- God’s day to destroy evil is at hand
- The Lord is going to destroy sinners out of the land
- The Lord stirred up an enemy against them that could not be bribed
- The Lord gives His people rule over their oppressors
- The Lord cuts off evil and those that associate with it
- None can stop what God intends
- God warns us because He loves us
- The Lord’s throne will be established in mercy
- He wails and waters with His tears