Isaiah 24:5, 6
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance…
Because they have transgressed the laws... therefore hath the curse devoured the earth. The great Eastern empires had no staying power. In a few generations dynasties, even empires, were swept clean away. And the reason is not far to seek. The great Eastern kingdoms were founded on blood-shedding; and for the sin of violence God keeps the curse of destruction. 'A lesson which he taught the world once for all when he swept away the old violent humanity with a flood: "The earth never spews out its inhabitants until they have defiled it by their sin." This subject is presented to us under a variety of aspects, and with an abundance of illustration. It is one of the great messages of the Bible. We do but give it here a little freshness of form and setting.
I. SIN COMES FIRST. God always begins with Eden. The Eden of bright happy youth in every man's life. There is no suffering where there is no sin. Thorns and briers come when man has acted in willfulness. Suffering has no mission save as the corrective of sin and sin's consequences. Our first parents disobey, and then suffering comes. Man follows the "devices and desires of his own heart," and then the corrective Divine judgments come. And suffering has always this justification, that sin has come first. Illustrate in the case of King Saul.
II. SIN MAY HAVE A LONG TETHER. This often creates confusion in men's minds. They think the sin cannot be evil because the punishment is so long delayed. So the uncleanness of cities goes on for years, and seems to be no serious evil; but presently the plague comes and sweeps its thousands away. Israel presumed on the holding over of its national judgments, but presently overwhelming destruction came. We can often sin on for years with apparent impunity, never with real impunity. Storms are gathering, though they wait their time for bursting.
III. SUFFERING KEEPS SIN COMPANY ON ITS WAY. It is always present; always ready to give signs of its presence; always making monitions. It is held back only in the long-suffering of God's mercy, the "goodness of God thus leading men to repentance."
IV. SUFFERING PLAINLY STAMPS THE EVIL OF SIN IN THE END. AS in the case of the drunkard, the sensualist, the dishonest. You can tell the value of a thing by its wage, and the "wages of sin is death." You can estimate a thing by its issues, and "sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." This lesson the history of individuals and of nations, ancient and modern, teaches, but teaches in vain to the sons of men. We say, "Ah, yes! It may be true of sin, but it is not true of our sin." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.