Life-Study of Isaiah, by Witness Lee

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A. Woe Being to Those
Who Destroy and Were Not Destroyed

Isaiah 33:1 says, "Woe to you who destroy and were not destroyed, / And to him who deals unfaithfully and was not dealt with unfaithfully! / When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed; / And when you cease to deal unfaithfully, they will deal unfaithfully with you." This indicates that everyone, regardless of his situation and no matter what kind of person he is, will be destroyed. Everyone will be fired.

B. At the Noise of the Tumult the Peoples Fleeing

At the noise of the tumult the peoples flee. At the lifting up of Jehovah the nations were scattered. Their spoil will be gathered as the caterpillar gathers. As locusts rush to and fro, men will rush to and fro upon it (33:3-4).

C. The Land Mourning and Languishing

According to verse 9, the land mourns and languishes. Lebanon is ashamed and withers away, Sharon is like a desert, and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves. Verse 10 says, "Now I will arise, says Jehovah,/Now I will be exalted; now I will be lifted up." The breath of the nations, like fire, will devour them. The peoples will be like the burning of lime, like cut down thorns that are burned in the fire (vv. 11-12).

D. Jehovah’s Indignation
Being upon All the Nations

Isaiah 34:1 says, "Draw near, O nations, to hear;/And listen, O peoples!/Let the earth and all that fills it hear,/ The world and all that springs forth from it." Jehovah’s indignation is upon all the nations, and His wrath is upon all their armies. He has utterly destroyed them; He has delivered them unto the slaughter (v. 2). This is God’s way of firing all the nations. God fires everyone—the good and the bad, the overcoming one and the defeated one. Today, God is firing both Christians and non-Christians.

E. All the Armies of Heaven
Being Dissolved, and Jehovah’s Sword
Descending in Judgment upon Edom and upon the People Whom He Has Devoted to Judgment

Further details regarding Jehovah’s destruction of the nations are found in 34:4-6, 8-9, 12-13. All the armies of heaven will be dissolved, and the heavens will be rolled up like a scroll. All their host will wither away, as the leaf withers from the vine, or like a sheaf withering from the fig tree (34:4). Jehovah’s sword has drunk its fill in heaven. Now it will descend in judgment upon Edom and upon the people whom He has devoted (cursed) to judgment; for Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom (vv. 5-6). According to the Bible, this sacrifice in Bozrah and slaughter in the land of Edom will be fulfilled in full in the great war at Armageddon, which will take place in a region that extends to Bozrah. Jehovah has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for Zion’s contention (v. 8). Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone; and its land will become burning pitch (v. 9). As for its nobles, there is no one there whom they may call to assume the kingdom, and all its princes will be nothing. Furthermore, thorns will come up in its cities; and it will be a habitation for jackals and an abode for ostriches (vv. 12-13).

(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)