Isaiah 24 has the prophet declaring His judgment and punishment on us all. “Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants”. That’s a pretty broad brush that Isaiah paints with here. If you’re taking up space, you fit the target. He makes it clear that no one escapes as he gets into more detail. “And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor”.
People aren’t getting away from God’s punishment. It will affect all of us. We’ll all stand before Him and have to give account, and we’re going to come up short in our ability to justify our choices. “The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant”. We’re going to have a problem trying to convince God that our failure to obey His laws, statutes and covenant isn’t as big a deal as He believes it to be.
In God’s eyes, there is a standard and that standard is perfect obedience to Him. We are all going to come up short when we stand before Him. If we have walked as a Christ Follower, our defense will be Jesus, not our own actions. While Jesus doesn’t make us perfect in any manner, His blood shed on the cross does cover our sin and will allow God to be satisfied with our holiness and righteousness and gain us entry into eternity with Him in heaven. If we don’t have any way to get our sin covered, we’ll stand before God and be denied entry into heaven. There is no middle ground, no ‘almost good enough’ place to go.
God reigns, and in that day He’ll do the punishing. He sits on the throne of this universe in absolute and complete control. He is the judge and jury when it comes to eternity. Jesus will be there representing on our behalf if we have put our faith and trust in Him. But otherwise, we’ll be alone and not able to defend the sinful choices we’ve made one the years. “On that day the Lord will punish”. He’s not just judge and jury, He’s also the sentence and the punisher. He will do what He purposes and we’ll merely be on the receiving end!