In this chapter, the Lord broadens His pen stroke of prophecy by speaking of the condition of the whole earth, or at least the entirety of the parts discussed in this chapter. Plunder shall come to all, without respect of person or status in life. Mourning and languishing will be the lot of haughty people. Lawbreakers bring this punishment on the earth. Plants do not produce, music and joy cease. The cities and the country shall suffer.
People will lift up their voices, singing to the Lord, but they will change to songs of ruin and woe. The chapter ends with a desperate discussion of the condition of the land:
17 Fear and the pit and the snare
Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall be
That he who flees from the noise of the fear
Shall fall into the pit,
And he who comes up from the midst of the pit
Shall be caught in the snare;
For the windows from on high are open,
And the foundations of the earth are shaken.
19 The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,
And shall totter like a hut;
Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,
And it will fall, and not rise again.
21 It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones,
And on the earth the kings of the earth.
22 They will be gathered together,
As prisoners are gathered in the pit,
And will be shut up in the prison;
After many days they will be punished.
23 Then the moon will be disgraced
And the sun ashamed;
For the Lord of hosts will reign
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
And before His elders, gloriously.
Obviously, the Lord appears to be judging the people with a scorched-earth attack. God said He would judge the earth, and the people ignored His warnings. Therefore, God must keep His word, and He must do what He says He will do. God does not lie. There is coming a day when all will be judged and find the wrath of God upon their evil. Be on the right side. Be holy. Be obedient. Be forgiven!