Isaiah 24:4-6: The exalted of the people of the earth dwindle
Isaiah 24:4-6 New American Standard Bible 4 The earth dries up and crumbles away, the mainland dries out and crumbles away, the exalted of the people of the earth dwindle. 5 The earth is also defiled [a]by its inhabitants, for they violated laws, altered statutes, and broke the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live on it suffer for their guilt. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth decrease in number, and few people are left.
When the judgement of God is poured out on all the world, not only will humanity be impacted by the judgement of God, so will all creation. Here the Lord says “the earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away”. The root cause of man’s downfall and destruction is pride and arrogance. When people allow arrogance to take hold they believe they are accountable to no one. They believe that they are untouchable.
We see this presently in the halls of government of the United States of America. We have people who have done very wicked things and continue in those things. They believe in their own eyes that they are gods. They are accountable to no one. This is why the judgement of Almighty God comes. It is because people reject the mercy of God and refuse to humble themselves before God. Our eyes must always be upon the Lord and know that His timing and His ways are perfect.
Jesus said that it would be like the days of Noah at His return. These verses Isaiah speaks and are written down speak of the time of God’s coming judgement upon the earth. It is the day of the Lord as many Old Testament prophets spoke of. The time of Noah was marked by gross sin, wickedness, and violence. It even says in Genesis 6:6 it states that God was sorry and was grieved that He had created humanity as He looked on the sin of Noah’s day.
This doesn’t mean that God didn’t know this was going to happen or was surprised by it. But God knew when He created man that he would fall. The plan of salvation was already in place before man was ever created. But to actually see the gross sin and wickedness of Noah’s day play out in front of God broke His heart. To see what humanity is fully capable of when they chase after sinful desire grieved the heart of God.
But as we examine our own day we see how gross wickedness and sin is taking hold. It seems that everyday people invent new ways to sin. When God says “the earth is polluted, they have transgressed laws, violated statues, and broke the everlasting covenant” this speaks of our day. We move ever closer to the return of Jesus, and the judgement of Almighty God. People eat, drink and marry like nothing terrible is on the horizon. They act like they are the masters of their own universe and the ones who determine their own destiny.
God has given each person created on the earth a conscience. Even before a person comes to Christ and is restored in relationship with the Living God, they know the difference innately between right and wrong. But when people suppress the truth and engage more and more in wickedness, their conscience becomes hardened and seared. They are over taken by wickedness and become beyond the reach of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is why to come to salvation in Christ is truly a work of God’s grace and mercy. The greatest miracle on this earth is when someone’s eyes are open to their own sin and wickedness, their need for a savior, and they decide to begin to follow and live for Jesus Christ.
The curse that devours is the judgement of Almighty God. We currently live in a time of God’s grace. This is the church age. It is the time between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the returning of Jesus for His bride. But there is a day coming in which at the last trumpet the Lord shall remove His bride from the earth and it shall make the way for God’s judgement and wrath to be poured out on the earth in full measure. Those who enter into the wickedness of this generation shall be held guilty. God has given man freewill and therefore He holds man accountable for the choices that are made. Every single person who stands before Christ in judgement will be without excuse. God gave them every opportunity to choose to humble themselves before His grace and mercy. Ultimately when a person comes to Christ they are chosen by Almighty God, the Holy Spirit enables them to come to repentance. But they have been given freewill and must choose whether or not to give their life over to the Creator of all things.
Here it states few men are left. It speaks of a remnant of people. Throughout the scriptures we see the principle of a remnant time and time again. Noah and his family were a remnant during their generation. They were saved because God found Noah righteous in a wicked generation. During the time of the Babylonian captivity, there was a remnant that was saved. Daniel and his three friends were part of this remnant.
Today in this wicked generation there is a remnant. There is a company of people who truly love God and live for Him. Compared to all of humanity on the earth that number is small in comparison. But that has always been the case concerning a remnant. Jesus Himself said narrow is the road that leads to life and few will walk on it, but broad is the road that leads to destruction and many would walk on it. Sadly, people for the most part choose this world over Almighty God. Even if they hear the gospel, they would rather live and pursue sin instead of bowing their knee to Almighty God. But there are always those who when they hear the gospel of Christ respond and surrender their lives fully to Jesus.