Many commentators call Isaiah 24-27 the “Little Apocalypse” because these chapters read similar to the Book of Revelation. In Isaiah 24, Isaiah proclaims the world’s destruction “Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 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.” After the Lord sends His judgement, Isaiah says the Lord will reign – “For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.” John will later receive a similar vision from the Lord in the Book of Revelation where he sees Jesus Christ standing on Mount Zion before the final judgment (Revelation 14:1).
In Isaiah 25, Isaish says the Lord’s people will rejoice over their salvation for “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” During John’s vision of the final judgment recorded in the Book or Revelation, John will see the day that the Lord will wipe all tears from the faces of His people and there will be no more pain and no more sorrow (Revelation 21:1-4).
When announcing Israel’s coming salvation in Isaiah 27, Isaiah says the Lord will punish Leviathan. Leviathan is mentioned several times in the Bible as a great, powerful sea monster. David said in Psalm 104:25-26 that God formed the sea for the sea creature Leviathan to play in. Here commentators say that Isaiah is likely using Leviathan as a symbol for the wicked rulers of the earth that will be destroyed. Isaiah goes on to explain that the judgment will be used as a means to bring His people to repentance and draw them to Him – “And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. So it shall be in that day; the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcast in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
In Isaiah 29, Isaiah says that Jerusalem will be destroyed due to their spiritual blindness. He rebukes the people because they assume they are exempt from judgment since they live in the city with the temple of the Lord. They falsely believe that their security comes from the temple building and their phony acts of worship but the Lord isn’t fooled. The Lord says “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me.” The Lord is not impressed with someone going through the motions of worship without a heart surrendered to Him. We may be able to fool others with our external acts of worship but no one can fool the Lord who sees the heart.
Isaiah says that the Lord will serve justice to the wicked and He will save the humble who trusts in Him – “In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nothing, the scornful one is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off— Who make a man an offender by a word, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just by empty words. Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: ‘Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel. These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine.”
Spiritual blindness occurs as a result of pride and it leads people to reject the living God as Lord and Creator. The Lord is the one to heal us from our spiritual blindness by taking our proud hearts and giving us a heart of humility which can accept Him as our Savior. Paul will later say, when we turn to the Lord, He will remove our spiritual blindness and transform us into the image of Christ – “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
Once the veil has been lifted and you are spiritually alive, you no longer have the same worldview. Those in Christ no longer focus on the temporal things of the world but on those of eternal value. Christians understand their purpose on earth and the command from Jesus to go and make disciples of the nations by sharing the Good News of Christ with others. We share this hope with the world knowing that judgment is coming and believing that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17); trusting that the Lord is the One to lift the veil of spiritual blindness – “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).
Therefore, go out in this dark world as the light, sharing the knowledge of the glory of God with others, resting in the fact that our good God is sovereign over all. And keep reading.
(Isaiah 24:1-27:13, Isaiah 29:1-24)