6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man's heart will melt.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them;
they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—
to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light.
The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins.
I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place
at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
Thoughts: Jesus' prophecy (Mt. 24; Lk. 21) of how the end of the age will look hearkens back to Isaiah's words. The "end of the age" is "the day of the Lord." It is a day of fear with God's wrath showing itself in earthly and heavenly signs. The heavenly signs are stars, sun, and moon being darkened (Mt. 24:29). The earthly signs are human de-population (death, famine, plague 13:12), earthquakes, and lots of fear. For what purpose does Isaiah (and Jesus) say these things? They are warnings to not turn away from the Lord. They are warnings that God will not allow evil to triumph forever. They are reminders that God is in control of the earth, of heaven, and human history and destiny. Our response to such things is not to fear, but to humble ourselves before God in obedience to Him as Lord of all.
Prayer: Lord, you are Lord of heaven and earth. Despite our great abilities, they pale compared to yours. Give us humble hearts and obedient lives today.
John Calvin abridged: When the Lord delays his judgment it appears he has stopped his duty as God (like judges when they refuse to pass sentence). We would gladly make God subject to our disposal, that he might immediately pass judgment on the wicked. But he has his own appointed time ("The Day of the Lord") to both punish the wicked and help the good.