Bad News...Good News
I've had some interesting conversations recently about the doctrine of Hell. It seems that there are quite a few people who want the good news without the bad news. Yet the scripture seems to clearly speak not only of God's love, but also of His wrath. I don't know if this passage in Isaiah is an allusion to Hell, but it is a reminder for us to truly fear the Lord.
First the Bad News...
Isaiah 33:11 You conceive chaff,
you give birth to straw;
your breath is a fire that consumes you.
12 The peoples will be burned as if to lime;
like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze."
13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
you who are near, acknowledge my power!
14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;
trembling grips the godless:
"Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"
Then the Good News...
Isaiah 33:15 He who walks righteously
and speaks what is right,
who rejects gain from extortion
and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,
who stops his ears against plots of murder
and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-
16 this is the man who will dwell on the heights,
whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
His bread will be supplied,
and water will not fail him.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
and view a land that stretches afar.