Woe to You, O Destroyer,

 You Who Have Not Been Destroyed

33: 1-6

   DIG: Who is the object of this last woe in the Book of Woes? How is he a destroyer and a traitor? How is the destroyer destroyed? How does the fact that Isaiah says that the nations will be scattered set the context of this passage?

   REFLECT: Are you a promise keeper? When was the last time you felt betrayed? How do you view those who break their promises with you? How does the LORD view them (Matthew 5:37)? How does it make you feel to know that whenever you turn to God in faith, restoration will follow? When was the last time you cried out to the Lord, “I long for You?” Looking back, did He respond to you? Was His response in His timing or yours? How long did you have to wait? How is the fear of the Lord the key to salvation and wisdom and knowledge in your life?

    This is the fifth woe in the Book of Woes. Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed. Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed (33:1). But the uniqueness of it lies in the fact that the first four woes were against Judah and Jerusalem, and this is the only woe against a Gentile nation. This woe was against the leader of the one who was responsible for the devastation of Israel in the previous chapters. As this chapter progresses, it deals with the devastation that is worldwide, opposed to just a local devastation of Israel. This woe is against the antichrist. He is the destroyer because in Zechariah 13:8-9 it tells us that he is responsible for destroying two-thirds of the world’s population during the Tribulation. He is the traitor because he is the breaker of the covenant, something that Isaiah pointed out in 28:18-19 and is also mentioned in Daniel 9:27. But now the time has come for him to be destroyed. He will be the initial casualty of the Second Coming (Second Thessalonians 2:8).

    There is a believing remnant in every age. When discussing the remnant section of the Book of Immanuel (11:11-16 and 12:1-6), we saw that the uniqueness was that they were willing to wait for ADONAI to act. The same thing is seen in 28:16 where the faithful remnant will not accept the covenant with the antichrist. The response of the remnant is not security in a covenant, but security in a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation (28:16). Although the antichrist will seemingly have all the answers for the problems of the world, especially for the Jews, the remnant says that whoever believes will not act hastily. The waiting of the Remnant can also be seen in 25:9 and 30:18. They rely on the LORD to be their protection as they wait. So as the armies of the world tighten their noose around Bozrah, the believing remnant patiently waits and prays for God’s promises to be fulfilled. They cry out: O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for You; literally, we wait for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress (32:2).

    ADONAI answers the believing remnant in the next three verses. When Jesus was going into Jerusalem to be crucified on the cross, He wept over her and said: If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. They did not recognize the time of God’s coming (Luke 19:41-44). How He longed to be worshiped as the Messiah. But now, at the end of the Great Tribulation, the believing remnant has finally recognized who Jesus is and will cry out: We long for You. But as they wait patiently for His return, the armies of the antichrist will gather at the Valley of Jezreel. They will descend on Jerusalem and the city will be captured (Zechariah 14:1-2), then they will turn their attentions east to Bozrah (Jeremiah 49:12-13).

    It is there that Messiah returns and destroys the armies of the world (see Kg – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Bozrah). His timing is perfect, never late. He does this by Himself with no one to help Him. When He returns, Yeshua Himself will say: I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so My own arm worked salvation for Me, and My own wrath sustained Me (63:5 and 59:16).

    As a result, the nations will be scattered. At the thunder of Your voice, the peoples flee; when You rise up, the nations scatter. The Gentile nations of the world intent on destroying the Jews, once and for all, are themselves destroyed. Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts; like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it (33:3-4). The invading armies themselves will become the plunder. They will enter for plunder; but instead, they will become the plunder. When the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) is through with them, they will experience the harvest of death just as assuredly as a nice green field of crops is harvested by young locusts. Nothing but blood will be left of the antichrist’s army.

    The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horse’s bridles (about four-and-a-half feet) for a distance of 180 miles or 300 kilometers (Revelation 14:19-20). This treading takes place outside the city of Jerusalem, where the Valley of Kidron, also known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat, is located. Isaiah also spoke of the Messiah with His garments stained crimson from treading the winepress of His wrath and anger (63:1-6). The campaign of Armageddon will conclude with the seventh Bowl Judgment (see my commentary on Revelation Ex – The Eight Stage Campaign of Armageddon).

    The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Jerusalem, or Zion, with justice and righteousness. That leads to ADONAI being exalted, and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. In 32:1 the two characteristics of the King and the Kingdom are justice and righteousness. The establishment of the millennial Kingdom will give Jerusalem these two characteristics, plus a sure foundation, a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge (33:5-6a).

    The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure (33:6b). None of these things were happening in Jerusalem during Isaiah’s day; all of these things will happen in the Millennial Kingdom. These verses are basically introductory, and summarize what he now details in the rest of this chapter.

    What if Yeshua Messiah came back today. How would you feel about that? Is it something you eagerly anticipate, or dread? How long have you been waiting to get serious about your relationship with God? Will you have time? Jesus warned: Just as it was with in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

    It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

    It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left (Luke 17:26-35).


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