"On that day Yahweh will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit. They will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for Yahweh of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders." - Isaiah 24:21-23
Isaiah 24-27 is called by some commentators "Isaiah's little apocalypse." This is an apt title because in these chapters Isaiah previews what is written 800 years later by John in Revelation. The three verses cited above preview what we read about in more detail in Revelation 19-22, the last four chapters of the Bible. The fallen angels and kings of the earth are defeated and confined for a time (v. 22), then punished (vv. 21-22). God rules as king on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem (v. 23). The brightness of the moon and sun are nothing compared to the glory of God (v. 23). The elders are worshipping God (v. 23). This is precisely the picture we get in Revelation:
"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it [Jesus] is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great [see Isaiah 24:2]." - Revelation 19:11-18
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended." - Revelation 20:1-3
"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." - Revelation 20:11-15
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:1-4
"And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it...." - Revelation 21:23-24
"And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” - Revelation 4:9-11
The lessons are: (1) God's plan for history is the same in both the Old and New Testaments; (2) if we want to see the New Jerusalem, we must believe in Messiah Jesus; (3) God's enemies will be confined and punished; and (4) Jesus is coming to earth to rule as king.
Father, these are sobering words. May we take them to heart. All glory be to you today. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman