Isaiah chapter 24 shares many features with modern dystopian novels and films. There’s desperation underlying it all. What kind of rescue are God’s people going to have? Dr. Luther considers that the rescue Isaiah describes comes in the incarnation of Jesus, God the Son.
Luther, Martin, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, translated by Herbert J.A. Bowman) Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, Lectures on Isaiah Chapters 1-39. St. Louis: Concordia, 1969. Logos Electronic Edition.
“Isaiah Chapter 24” pp. 186-193.
Luther observes Isaiah’s change of focus at chapter 24. Isaiah returns to address his own people. The devastation he describes, according to Luther, continues until the time of Christ (LW 16, 186). The land is to be sacked. This destruction in verses 1-3 extends to the whole land and its people. Luther takes verse three to affirm that the land stands or falls by God’s word (LW 16, 187). The pollution of the earth is due to the hypocrisy which refuses correction (LW 16, 187). Referring to verses 5-6, Luther sees the papacy of his day as the height of hypocrisy (LW 16, 1880. In the time of destruction all joy will be stopped (LW 16, 7-9). The population will fall into disorder and even the infrastructure of the cities will fail (LW 16, 189).
Isaiah does include a message of hope. The word of God will go forth. Luther, referring to Isaiah 24:15ff, observes that in the apostolic preaching God’s Word did go forth (LW 16, 190). This serves to call people to God in Christ (v. 15). Verses 16 and following describe those who continue to despise God’s Word (LW 16, 191). They find terror and turn to flee from God. Depending on anything but God will leave people abandoned to destruction. All this destruction is God’s penalty upon those who have exalted themselves (v. 21). Their boasting is in vain (p. 192).
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