In his prophesying about near- and long-term events for Israel and its coming Messiah, Isaiah also makes a prophecy about all the people of the world at the time just before Christ’s return, a time period referred to as the “Day of the Lord”:
17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low;
The Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks,
And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily. Isaiah 2:17-19 NKJV
It is hard to imagine men and women in work attire, starting out a day like any other on their way to the office or a business meeting, only to find themselves hiding in caves before sundown, shaking in fear from the presence of God, their Creator.
We might be able to visualize this happening if a war were to break out, or some other terrible event was to happen. But in this case, Isaiah is simply describing the scene at the appearing of Jesus Christ, who is returning to bring an era of peace and justice for all nations.
Why would one hide when God finally arrives on the scene after being away for so long? I believe it is similar to when we misbehaved as children, and we hid when our disciplinarian, parent, or guardian suddenly returned home.
The fundamental cause of our sin is a lack of faith. We often have little or no regard for God and His Christ, and this shows up in our attitudes and actions.
While describing the last days, Jesus wondered aloud to His disciples whether there would be any faith at all to be found when He finally returns to rule the nations.
8 …when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b NKJV
Isaiah and the other prophets of his day described what men and women’s behavior was like in Judah and, by extension, what it will also be like globally before the Day of the Lord:
- The rich will crush the poor and use their plunder to build magnificent houses and line up properties house to house and field to field.
- They will drink intoxicating drink from day into the night.
- They will justify the wicked and take away justice from the righteous for a bribe.
- They will call evil good, darkness light, and the bitter, sweet for their own gain.
- They will worship idols of gold and silver.
- They will be haughty and prideful, and adorned with finery, pomp, and glory.
- They will scheme to commit fraud, robbery, and even murder.
- They will indulge in sexual immorality, fornication, and adultery.
- They will not regard the work of the Lord, consider the operation of His hands, or call upon His name in faith.
God is patient with us, but His patience will not last forever. Through His prophets, God has promised to shake the earth to get our attention before the return of Jesus Christ.
This will not be the first time this happened – the Book of Hebrews reminds us that God shook the earth at Mount Sinai when God met with Moses and the people He had brought out of slavery in Egypt. And that He will shake both earth and heaven once again in the end times:
26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Hebrews 12:26 NKJV
Not a single one of us has been able to walk through life without turning away from God towards some type of sin – only Christ was able to do that. The sins that tempt me may be totally different from the ones that tempt you, but we all have failed along these lines.
The good news is that we do not have to wait until Christ’s return to humble ourselves before our Creator and to seek forgiveness for all of our sins and shortcomings. God has made a provision for us – the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a substitute for our sin, and His resurrection from the dead to give us new life. We have a sure foundation in that all who place their faith in Him will be raised up, as well.
4 … just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4b NKJV
The Book of Revelation and later prophets like Daniel and Ezekiel give a lot more information about end time events. But for now, we know that some kind of shaking will take place on earth, and even be felt in heaven, before Christ returns to set up His Millennium kingdom in Jerusalem. All the earth will be greatly impacted by this event.
Lord, help me to live for today, to enjoy You and the blessings You have provided. Thank You for forgiving all of my sins and help me to forgive others around me. Grant me the faith to enjoy peace and serenity in the midst of the struggles and conflicts of life’s journey. We take our refuge in You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.