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6.40 Isaiah -- The Uniqueness of Israel B

          b.  The Consequences of Sin

          The long heritage of sin now yields a dreadful and cataclysmic outcome:

          Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my
          I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed;
          I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled (Isa 5:5).

         Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire;
              your fields are being stripped by foreigners right
              before you,
              laid waste as when overthrown by strangers (Isa 1:7).

         Because Israel has not obeyed the Lord's word, God Himself is summoning distant nations to work His judgment upon her:

         He lifts up a banner for the distant nations,
              he whistles for those at the ends of the earth.
              Here they come, swiftly and speedily! (Isa 5:26).

         This is not just a temporary punishment, as has happened numerous times in the past:

        Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the
              sea, only a remnant will return.
        Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming
              and righteous (Isa 10:22-23).

        But now Isaiah adds a new note.  Judgment is not restricted to Israel, Judah, or specific foreign nations.  He proclaims that the judgment of God extends to all men over the entire earth.  


       The earth will be completely laid waste and totally
       The Lord has spoken this word.
       The earth dries up and withers,
            the world languishes and withers,
            the exalted of the earth languish.
       The earth is defiled by its people;
            they have disobeyed the laws,
            violated the statutes and broken the everlasting
       Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
            its people must bear their guilt.
       Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up,
            and very few are left (Isa 24:3-6).

       Terror and pit and snare await you,
            O people of the earth.
       The earth is broken up,
            the earth is split asunder,
       the earth is thoroughly shaken (Isa 24:17-19).

       The Lord is angry with all nations;
            his wrath is upon all their armies.
       He will totally destroy them,
            he will give them over to slaughter (Isa 34:2).


       Notice that these last verses apply to the endtimes, not to the local situation of Israel and Judah.  But the reason for universal judgment is the same as for Israel's collapse: people have disobeyed God's laws, broken the covenant.



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