Wicked people are in the world! What is going to happen to them. God is in control and is telling us what their fate is.
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to BibleGateway.com or another online Bible.
1. The first two verses are the conclusion of chapter 56.
They “describe the terrible things that were happening to the righteous or devout people because the blind and self-centered leaders were failing to lead the nation in righteous ways.” (Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. [Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009], 545)
The leaders were wicked.
2. “God permitted the unrighteous leaders to live and suffer the terrible consequences of their sins, but the righteous people died before the judgment fell.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002], 65)
3. “God sees idolatry as adultery and prostitution.” (Wiersbe, 65)
“They were enjoying themselves amid the fertility cults that used sexual rites in an attempt to ensure the agricultural and personal fertility of the nation. They went so far as to sacrifice their own children.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
4. “Attacks are being made upon the righteous. They are not having an easy time. The attacks are coming hard and fierce, and the wicked seem to get by with it.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 325)
5. “The wicked in the last days are the idolaters who have turned their back on God. They are guilty of gross immorality and murder. Adultery and murder are two of the terrible sins of our day also.” (McGee, 325)
6. “They will even worship the smooth stones in the brook that once slew a giant. They worship everything except the living and true God.” (McGee. 325)
7. “Now the description of pagan worship turns from what was happening in the valleys to what was going on at cultic sites on the top of mountains, a typical place to construct a illegitimate place of pagan worship (Hosea 4:13; Jeremiah 2:20-25; Ezekiel 16:25).” (Smith, 553)
“Now idolatry, associated with the groves on the mountain tops, gives place to scenes of the vilest immorality.” (McGee, 325)
8. “Since some places of worship did not even have doors, behind the door or the doorpost of a pagan place of worship may simply mean inside the temple area.” (Smith, 554)
9. “Publicly and privately, the people were devoted to idols and immorality.” (Wiersbe, 65)
“But they were also guilty of consorting with pagan leaders and trusting them for protection instead of trusting God.” (Wiersbe, 65)
10. “They found false strength in their political alliances and refused to admit that these treaties were hopeless.” (Wiersbe, 65)
11. “Did they refuse to worship Yahweh because he had been so patient with them and long been silent in spite of all their sins? Why were they in such awe, reverence, and fear of the gods whose worship was so morally repugnant? Why did they prefer those gods to their God?” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
12. “The promise to expose ‘your righteousness’ implies that God has a record of everything these people have done and know just how righteous or unrighteous they really are (cf. 58:1; Daniel 7:10). (Smith, 558)
“This verse strongly argues against the popular beliefs of cultural Christians who naively think that God will be impressed with all their good works and that these will get them into heaven.” (Smith, 559)
13. “Anything that we trust other than the Lord becomes our god and therefore is an idol.” (Wiersbe, 65)
“One of the best ways to find out whether we have idols in our lives is to ask ourselves, ‘Where do I instinctively turn when I face a decision or need to solve a problem?’” (Wiersbe, 65)
“Do we turn to God to see His will and receive His help?” (Wiersbe, 65)
This paragraph “functions as a proclamation of salvation about what will happen in the future when God sits upon his high and holy royal throne to rule the earth.” (Smith, 560)
14. “The prophet had to repeat the call to prepare the road for God’s new work of salvation (cp. 40:3). God sought to build a path for his people in their own homeland as well as in foreign exile.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
15. “One thing is already clear: the wicked will be punished with death (57:3-13a), while the humble will be given a glorious new life with God.” (Smith, 564)
16. “He is the eternal God, but He will not always be angry with sin, because sin is to be removed.” (McGee, 325)
17. “Since many people seem to be hopelessly controlled by these evil desires, God will one day call a halt to his attempts to transform mankind. On that day he will rescue the righteous and bring final judgment on the wicked.” (Smith, 565)
18. “Now God would work in a new way. He would heal the guilty ways and thus bring comfort (cp. 40:1). This would transform the words of mourning into words of praise.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
19. This verse “continues the marvelous description of what God will do for the righteous.” (Smith, 566)
“God alone can speak peace to the heart of the sinner.” (McGee, 326)
20. “The prophet summarizes what will happen to the wicked.” (Smith, 365)
“The wicked enemies of God are compared to the raging sea. Such wicked forces, no matter how strong or how many, will not prevail, for they themselves are in utter turmoil and without any peace.” (Smith, 367)
21. “God says that the wicked will have no peace. That is an axiom of God, and it is like the law of gravity—it works.” (McGee, 326)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002