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In our study of Isaiah chapter twenty four, we look at Isaiah's prediction of the coming time of great tribulation. We will look at events that lead up to the time as well as the fact that it will be a time of universal judgment.
"See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants - it will be the same for priest as for people, for the master as for his servant, for the mistress as for her servant, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word." NIV translation
The Hebrew word that is translated here as "earth" is "erets" and it basically means the physical land. Although it is often used in reference to the land of Israel, it can also mean land in general which is the meaning here. In chapters 13 through 23, we saw the pronouncement of judgments on individual nations. Although they were prophetic at the time that the prophet gave them, they have been fulfilled prior to our time. Now, Isaiah begins to speak of judgment that is ahead for the world of today.
We see that this judgment is not based on the actions of nations but on the actions of individuals. We also see that it does not matter whether you are a so-called religious leader or an atheist or whether you are rich or poor as all those that are left on the earth will be affected.
We often pass right over this concept without really allowing it to sink in but it is crucial to our understanding of the way we are to live.
If we believe these words, then, our lives on this earth should not be focused on gaining material wealth or even a position in our community. As we see in this passage, the possessions as well as the communities are all going to be devastated. So, should we just kick back and "eat drink and be merry" or is there a purpose to our time on this erets? As Christians, do we just go into a waiting mode as we long for Jesus' return?