Isaiah 5:24. “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.”
If we do not fear the wrath of God, we are indeed ignorant and arrogant. Ignorance coupled with arrogance is a pitiful state of mind. There just isn’t much hope for fixing that.
Judah and Jerusalem were about to experience the unleashed wrath of the Holy One of Israel, and yet they continued in their ignorance and arrogance. Divine judgment is compared literally translated, to a “tongue of fire” that will consume the stubble in the fields, the dry grass, and everything else in its path. Go look at some pictures of a forest fire, and you’ll have some idea of the force that we’re being told about in this verse. It’s overwhelming, greater than our ability to put it out. All that the people gloried in will be like moldy rottenness and vanishing dust.
When I was about eight, there was a fire in the garage behind our house. It had been contained to just the garage, but the garage was a total loss. Curious, as most kids are, I remember going back there to look at what was left after it had all cooled off. I remember putting my hand on the charred remnant of what had been a wall-supporting beam. It crumbled to ashes under my hand, and scared me half to death. I remember backing away and running as far as I figured was safe, then turning to watch, to see if the whole structure that was left would crumble the same way because of my foolish desire to touch it.
That’s pretty much the picture we have here. There won’t be much left of the pride and the arrogance as it crumbles to dust beneath God’s wrath.