20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing drinks,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.
24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw
and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,
so their roots will decay
and their flowers blow away like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty
and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people;
his hand is raised and he strikes them down.
The mountains shake,
and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.
26 He lifts up a banner for the distant nations,
he whistles for those at the ends of the earth.
Here they come,
swiftly and speedily!
27 Not one of them grows tired or stumbles,
not one slumbers or sleeps;
not a belt is loosened at the waist,
not a sandal strap is broken.
28 Their arrows are sharp,
all their bows are strung;
their horses’ hooves seem like flint,
their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
29 Their roar is like that of the lion,
they roar like young lions;
they growl as they seize their prey
and carry it off with no one to rescue.
30 In that day they will roar over it
like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks at the land,
there is only darkness and distress;
even the sun will be darkened by clouds.
The judgments against Judah would be swift for they were a rebellious lot.
They mocked at sin.
They perverted right and wrong.
Their world was upside down and inverted morally.
Then, Isaiah’s word picture changes. God whistles and Judah’s enemies are ready and willing to come charging, all with the Lord’s blessings! That had to sting Judah.
We can relate in the West because we see corruption and injustice and think that no one will ever be held to what is blatant sin.
We have the media – which knows the truth – brazenly covering up for politicians and causes they root for and negative press for those they don’t like. The corruption and deceit is widespread and endemic to our society.
It seems like a cop out to suggest that ‘they’ll get their punishment, maybe not in this life but in the life to come.’
While the statement about punishment is 100% true, it doesn’t prevent the wheels of society from doing what is right when it can. Otherwise, we would just have to throw our hands up and give in to the whims of the politically powerful and connected.
Then again, the way things are going, we could certainly envision foreign entities descending upon godless nations at the behest of God.
We do live in interesting times.