Good morning! Prophets have a reputation for being messengers of “doom and gloom”, largely because of passages like today’s Isaiah 22-24. In this section the prophet continues to warn of God’s judgment, this time on Jerusalem, Tyre and the entire earth.
Yesterday Isaiah prophesied destruction for a host of other nations, but now he warns about the coming fate of Jerusalem. The city’s downfall comes because its leaders abandon it. Corrupt officials—including “Shebna the steward”—trust too much in their own strength rather than in God Almighty. They lack prudence, acting impulsively and without consulting God in prayer. They lean too much on their own strength, and so will see it fail them.
Tyre will also be destroyed, according to Isaiah, along with its neighboring merchant sister city Sidon. Babylon destroys Tyre, and Isaiah prophesies that it will remain forgotten for nearly a century. When trade does return, it will serve to honor God and profit “those who live in the presence of the Lord.” I’m curious how the material record squares with this description of Tyre’s decline, and if it can be substantiated with archaeological records.
Finally in chapter 24, all the earth faces impending barrenness, judgment for human iniquity. Isaiah paints a bleak picture of what this desolation looks like—pollution, famine, and drought, for starters. City life, social norms and the ancient customs of hospitality are abandoned. The only saving grace comes at the end of the chapter, with the promise that “the Lord of hosts will reign” and “will manifest his glory”. This may offer the slight comfort that all is not lost forever, no matter how bleak things look in the near term. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Isaiah 25-28. Thanks for reading!