God is going to continue to tell His people to not put their trust in anything else but Him. The theme that God is in control over all the nations will continue with warnings of His followers to keep their focus on Him and not what other nations or people do.
Isaiah 13:1-6 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.2 On a bare hill raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, and have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger, my proudly exulting ones.[a]4 The sound of a tumult is on the mountains as of a great multitude! The sound of an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The Lord of hosts is mustering a host for battle. 5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the Lord and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.[b] 6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty[c] it will come!
1) The Day of the Lord is near
“Wail for the Day of the Lord is near “The way this was written was to show that this was a burden to Isaiah to even tell the vision that God gave him. Many times the things of God are not easy to discuss with people because they go against the culture and for some people you may even sound crazy. As Christians we are tempted to stay silent when the conversations get difficult but we are to share what God has shown us even if it is difficult and not popular. We need to be burdened for people and warn them with the warnings that God has shown in His word.
The Day of the Lord is when God intervenes personally into the affairs of mankind to bring about His judgment. We will all face our own individual “Day of the Lord” when we die but Nations face the “Day of the Lord” when God wipes them out because of the sin they refuse to stop doing. At the end of Human history there will be the final “Day of the Lord” when God defeats His enemies once and for all and sets up His Heavenly Kingdom. As we go through Isaiah 13 we will see that there is a future destruction of nations as well as the final day of the Lord which will be at the end of time.
“I have commanded my consecrated ones” Some believe this to be like before where God uses a Nation to carry out His punishments and some believe it is angelic messengers (Zechariah 1:11-13 and 6:1-8) since they come from the “end of the heavens” (vs 5). It could be both another nation and Angelic beings but the point is the destruction is going to happen. We cannot forget that God has at His disposal both the human and spiritual armies to do His will and “Execute His anger”(vs3) toward those who are disobedient to Him. There is a story of Elisha and his servant and they were surrounded by an army but Elisha knew despite what he physically saw God was still in control and God has Angelic beings at His disposal to accomplish His will.
2 Kings 6:15-17 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
God has given us glimpses into the spiritual realm and with that we do not have to fear nations or individuals because God is in control. The victory of God is a sure thing that we can count on as God is acting out His plan. The plan may not make sense to us but we are assured that God is working it out.
“The Lord and the weapons of his wrath” The Final day of the Lord will be personal because God Himself will be involved instead of just using others as He does now. This is a view of God that we cannot ignore that God is love but He is also just and He does demonstrate His wrath when people stay in an unrepentant state. The reason God demonstrates wrath is different than why we do.
Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
Indignation is anger toward how one is treated. Many people see their sins as mess ups but they are against God and God alone. (Psalm 41:4 and 51:4) When you realize that every sin that is committed is a person affront to God it changes your view of what you are doing but also what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
We do not know when the “Day of the Lord” will come upon individuals or nations but we must not grow complacent thinking that it is always in the future.
A Banner was the exact location that the troops were to rally to where the battle will be showing that God will pinpoint His wrath towards those who do not submit to Jesus Christ. (John 3:36) We are called to be heartbroken and to actually cry for those who will face this day. We should never be glad that someone dies without being saved by Jesus Christ or because of our disdain for them to wish the wrath of God upon them. It will be a dreadful day for those who do not turn to Jesus and something we should not wish upon anyone. Let us not grow hard hearted toward those in sin but let’s be broken hearted for them because they are living a lie. Let us like Isaiah be burdened for them.
Isaiah 13:7-13 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt. 8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. 9 Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.11 I will punish the world for its evil,
and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.
2) The Day of the Lord is Terrible
“To destroy sinners (9) and the proud (11) “Babylon is a city but is also symbolic of wickedness that opposes itself to God. (Gen 11:1-9) When people stand before God on their own without Jesus Christ as their mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) it will be a terrible day because they will not have Jesus Christ to stand in the way of the wrath of God. Isaiah describes them as people “Failing with hands” (meaning nothing they can do) “Melting hearts” (meaning having No Hope) terror, (Meaning Frightened to a point of not able to move) anguish, writhing in pain, astonishment, and faces aflame (Meaning either embarrassment, anger or fright) Isaiah says it will be a day as a woman who is in labor which is an image of those who had uncontrollable and unavoidable agony. (Matthew 24:8) Some of the people will be in shock because they believed a lie about God and what it takes to be saved. (Matthew 7:21-22) No one can save them on the” Day of the Lord” when He decrees their destruction.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
The mercy and grace of God will not be offered anymore and they will only get His justice and wrath. It will be too late for those who are sinners to repent and there will not be another opportunity for them.
The Bible never calls those who have placed their faith in Christ sinners but only saints. (Acts 9:13, 32; 26:10; Ephesians 4:12, 5:3; Philippians 4:21) The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” For those of us who have accepted Christ we do not have to worry about Jesus addressing our sins (Romans 8:1)
“The sun will be dark” (10) Darkness is always used to show terrible times. There are many things that can cause the sun to go dark. Smoke from war, smoke from volcanoes or because God does something to them are all reasons the sun and stars are blotted out. These verses also show what the end times will be like. Jesus said something similar when He talked about the end of time right after the tribulation.
Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
So many times we talk how great it will be when Jesus pokes through the sky to come and get us but for many people seeing Jesus is going to be a dreadful day and one that Jesus says they will mourn, a word used as if at a funeral. Jesus will be the one who will judge and punish the people for their sins so not everyone is going to have a good experience when Jesus comes again.
Psalm 130:3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
The only way we can stand is because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf. Too many people think that any religion will get them to heaven or by their good works they are on good terms with God.
Every nation in Isaiah’s day thought that their god ruled their area and Isaiah was telling them that only The God rules over everything. The world will be punished for the evil that it has committed this is why we do not have to worry about anyone getting away with anything.
Isaiah 7:14-16 And like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, each will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land. 15 Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
Verses 14-16 describe panic followed by destruction and sorrow with no escape because God’s hand of restraint will be removed. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) God allows Satan to do what He wants and the destruction and fear will be intense. (See Job 1 on how God restricts Satan)
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
If you ever wondered why God was taking so long it is because He is giving people the opportunity to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and escape the destruction that awaits them as they face the wrath of God. Jesus said what the “Day of the Lord” will look like in Matthew 25
Matthew 25:31-34, 41,46 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The Day of the Lord is coming either by our death on earth or Jesus return but either way we who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross have nothing to fear. It will be a glorious, exciting and awe filled day for believers but a terrible day for those who reject the free gift of salvation through Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We need to weep and mourn for those who do not know Christ and we need to share about the love of God with them that He provided through Jesus Christ.
Have you prepared for the “Day of the Lord”? Acts 16:31 says to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. You Believe that what Jesus did on the cross puts you in a right relationship with God.