Intro: I was just listening to a bit of local news this morning and many of the reports saddened me. The crime situation is escalating in certain places in our country; criminals are not afraid to violate others, because there does not seem to be much of a consequence when they break the law. What do you think will actually change society? Scripture tells us a society will change only when people conform to God’s Word and follow his ways. Only then will people willingly love, respect, and care for each other.
In our passage today, Isaiah speaks to the nations of Israel and Judah about their arrogance and corruption before God. Only God is worthy of being exalted and every wicked nation under pride-driven leaders who push to exalt themselves over God’s authority have been destined for judgment and destruction. Both Israel and Judah faced the judgment of God when each were violently conquered by enemy nations and taken into captivity.
The phrase ‘the day of judgment’ is also called ‘the day of the Lord.’ This refers to God’s judgment on his sinful human creation bent on idolatry, violence, and hatred. Sometimes ‘the day of judgment’ occurs in this life, but there is also a final judgment that will occur and it is called ‘the day of the Lord.’ For those ready to meet Christ at his second return, they will be rescued from all the adverse effects of sin. “Just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him” (Heb 9:27-28).
We live in the ‘the last days’ and the time following Christ’s first advent or coming. According to Scripture, Christ will return again for the second time to judge every person who has ever lived; every person will stand before God and give an account for his or her life. Those in Christ, will be declared righteous, because Jesus brings a person into peace with God. If we stand in that place of judgment without Jesus—the Word of God living within us—we will be found guilty of sin and deserving of a destiny in hell. Why do we try to substitute what actually works to bring change to society [honoring and following the Word of God] by accepting man-driven remedies that have never worked to bring lasting change? Rebellion against God’s Word places humanity on the wrong side of his righteous justice and judgment.
Isaiah 2:12-17 (NLT)
For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment.
Prayer: Lord, humility before you is the proper posture for every human being. I pray for my heart to be loving, humble, and pliable. I pray for all of your children to understand and live in love and humility. I also pray for our country and the violence that seems to go unpunished. You are love and your Word tells us “love does no wrong.” I pray for your perfect justice to be exalted in your world, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.