Jerusalem was overwhelmed by the conquerors who came against them in judgment for their rebellion. Isaiah speaks to those who plunder the land of the People of God. When their plundering ends, they will be plundered. The Lord will be gracious to His people, and they will be restored. When the Lord lifts Himself up, the nations will be scattered. The Lord is exalted!
The Lord responds prophetically through Isaiah, saying in Isaiah 33:10–13 (NKJV),
10 “Now I will rise,” says the LORD;
“Now I will be exalted,
Now I will lift Myself up.
11 You shall conceive chaff,
You shall bring forth stubble;
Your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
12 And the people shall be like the burnings of lime;
Like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.
13 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done;
And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
Isaiah asks about who can stand before His fire, the Righteous One who judges. The hypocrites are afraid, the oppressors are marked for judgment by the Ruler of the Earth. In the end, He will rule completely over the land of the Majestic King. He will rule in beauty and fear will come upon all around Him. Zion, Jerusalem, will be restored and the tabernacle will be sure.
Isaiah 33:20–24 (NKJV)
20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home,
A tabernacle that will not be taken down;
Not one of its stakes will ever be removed,
Nor will any of its cords be broken.
21 But there the majestic LORD will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
In which no galley with oars will sail,
Nor majestic ships pass by
22 (For the LORD is our Judge,
The LORD is our Lawgiver,
The LORD is our King;
He will save us);
23 Your tackle is loosed,
They could not strengthen their mast,
They could not spread the sail.
Then the prey of great plunder is divided;
The lame take the prey.
24 And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”;
The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.
Judgment will come when sin runs rampant and God is forgotten. However, repentance will bring the mercy of God and restoration can occur. Get your heart right before the Lord and invite the Great King to visit you in your distress!