Not only the nations around Israel will face judgment, but the WHOLE earth too. It goes beyond man and includes the earth itself and the hosts of heaven.
I’m pretty sure this prophecy is talking about the FINAL judgment. Probably after Satan has been released from the pit and defeated once again by Jesus. At this time even the “hosts of heaven” are judged.
I have a question here. Because time means nothing to God, could the judging of the “hosts of heaven” be the same judgment passed on Satan and the angels who rebelled? Is it one and the same moment or is it a second judgment for the demons? Could we say that their first judgment ended in a “probation” while this one is for eternity? And does the “hosts of heaven” mean the angels and demons or does it include the stars God placed in the sky?
“The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the Lord has spoken His word” (verse 3). We are NOT going to be able to “save the planet” through reducing our “carbon footprint” or lowering our dependence on fossil fuels. GOD says the earth will be “UTTERLY PLUNDERED.” I would not be surprised to learn that ‘global warming’ is God’s hand in action. He has already told us that there WILL be an end to this earth and His word does NOT lie.
Just because we know the earth WILL be “utterly plundered”, we don’t have to try and be the generation that finishes it off. We are to be good stewards of what God has placed in our hands. We are NOT to worship it and put it above God, or probably man. We are to care for it as we would any other object of God’s creation and use what it supplies to further His Kingdom.
I cannot think of even one bible story where God made the earth the center of His miracle. I know of MANY where He brought something to light or used a resource provided by the earth to impact the life of man. Here are a few examples:
Jonah and the gourd God grew and withered; water from the rock (x2); the earth opening up and swallowing alive the men who rose up against Moses; the plagues on Egypt; parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan; Jesus calming the storm; Jesus feeding the multitudes with little resources; even Jesus making mud to put on the blind man’s eyes. ALL of these stories contain a miracle for man, brought about by the use of some ‘resource’ provided by the earth. And this list is by NO MEANS exhaustive!
Even now, our world is suffering under the hands of man. There are resources that are being depleted or are being squandered. Why is this, you ask. Because sin was brought into this world. Without sin, this world would have lived forever; just as man would have. Once that sin entered into our world, the very planed has been dying. And it will continue its death when, and ONLY when, God is finished with it.
As for man, God says there will be very few left on earth at this point. I’m curious as to exactly the cause of that. If it is the end of the final war with Satan; are those who remain alive following that war? Are they the remnants of Satan’s army? Are God’s people already removed from the earth? Not just the rapture of the church but even the dead in Christ having risen and standing before the Lord. Those who are on the earth will be in great despair. No joy or singing. No good food or drink. Nothing left to harvest. And all that remains is punishment for those who have rejected God. “On that day the Lord will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished” (verses 21-22).
This verse has me wondering if this part isn’t taking place when Jesus returns. Satan and his forces will be defeated when Jesus steps down onto the earth. And there will be joy with those who are with Jesus. They will shout and sing in His presence. This is a VAST contrast to what Satan and his followers are experiencing. Satan was enjoying his free reign of destruction until Jesus came. Jesus conquered him, put him and his followers into a holding pattern for justice, and Jesus’ people began a glorious time with Him. For a thousand years, all will be good with Jesus on the throne on earth. And this earth will survive as long as He calls for it to. THEN God will replace it with one that has NEVER been touched by sin.
Father God, I KNOW You have everything planned out, right down to the smallest detail. I trust You to work ALL things to Your glory, NO MATTER WHAT gets in the way! Your victory over Satan isn’t relegated to just ‘the back of the book’ but to today’s prophecy too. SO MUCH EVIDENCE of Satan’s future!!! And the future of those who line up on either side! I’m on Your side Father!!!