“Intercession,” William McDowell
“The Lord’s Devastation of the Earth,” Isaiah 24:1) Behold, The Lord Maketh The Earth Empty, And Maketh It Waste, And Turneth It Upside Down, And Scattereth Abroad The inhabitants Thereof. 2) And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, 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 taker of usury (lender), so with the giver of usury to him (creditor). 3) The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: For The Lord Hath Spoken This Word. 4) The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5) The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgresed the Laws, changed the Ordinance, broken The Everlasting Covenant. 6) Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
Quest Study Bible – v1-6, “How And When Would God Destroy The Whole Earth?” To this point, Isaiah’s warnings were about God’s Judgment upon specific cities. But here he broadens The Word Of Doom to encompass the entire world: destruction comes to all who sin. The picture he paints is of devastation so complete it will rival the flood. Ruin its face (Maketh The Earth Empty, And Maketh It Waste, And Turneth It Upside Down, And Scattereth Abroad The inhabitants) (v. 1) suggests a disease that will change the contours of the planet, much like the flood did. Earthquakes, droughts and crashing meteorites each have the potential to to that. This much is clear: it is God, not soldiers, laying waste to the planet. It is God Judging Human Beings For Their Sins (v. 5). We don’t know when this destruction will happen. But Isaiah seems to say that after God Turns His Creation Into Chaos, He Will Make A New Creation (26:11). This could be in the last days of human history, when God Defeats Evil Once And For All. So many have interpreted The Message this way that chs. 24-27 are known as the Apocalypse of Isaiah.
Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, Scatters is an allusion to Genesis 11:9. The Lord Had Scattered the inhabitants of the earth in the past at the Tower of Babel; He Would Do So Again. v2, 3, As … debtor: Wealth and power will make no difference. Both Will Suffer For Wickedness Before God. v4, The earth mourns: For a similar idea, see Romans 8:22. v5, Laws … Ordinance … Everlasting Covenant: The usual language about a breach of The Covenant is applied more generally to the wicked nations. Perhaps these Words speak of that innate sense of right and wrong—the conscience—That God Has Given To All Humankind, but which everyone violates (Romans 1:18-32; compare Acts 24:16). v6 Left may also be translated “remnant” (10:20, 21).
Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – 1-12, All whose treasures and happiness are laid up on earth, will soon be brought to want and misery. It is good to apply to ourselves what the Scripture says of the vanity and vexation of spirit which attend all things below. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth is become quite different to man, from what it was When God First Made It To Be His (Man’s) Habitation. It is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of those that please themselves with it, and lay it in their bosoms. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble. See The Power Of God’s Curse, How It Makes All Empty, And Lays Waste All Ranks and Conditions. Sin Brings These Calamities Upon The Earth, It Is Polluted By the Sins Of Men, Therefore It Is Made Desolate By God’s Judgments. Carnal joy will soon be at an end. God Has Many Ways To Embitter Wine and Strong Drink to those who love them; distemper (a viral disease) of body, anguish of mind, and the ruin of the estate, will make strong drink bitter, and the delights of sense tasteless. Let men learn to mourn for sin, and Rejoice In God; then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.