Isaiah 13:9-22

Although it is true to say that every judgment Of God in History can in some sense be described as ”the day of the LORD”, it doesn’t alter the fact that there is going to be a final judgment of all mankind. Isaiah, in (9-13), sees the historical judgment on Babylon as foreshadowing the last judgment. So it is important that we should see the particular judgments of God in history as warnings of things yet to come. God hates pride. It always goes before a fall. The Babylonians are a major Bible example of this principle. There can be no doubt that God’s judgment is a terrible thing (14-16). The Babylonians had taken people captive from many lands. Isaiah saw that when the city of Babylon was about to fall, these exiles would try to escape to their native lands. But those caught or found living among the Babylonians would be killed, or ravished, along with the Babylonian people.

At one time, people would have struggled to believe that so great an empire as that of Babylon could be devastated like this (17 – 22). But it did happen, and it stands as a warning to all nations and empires. Although God would use ”the Medes” in His purposes, Babylon would be ”overthrown by God.” (19). The destruction of this city, and the downfall of this powerful empire would be God’s work through His chosen instruments. ”This prophecy has indeed come true. By the end of the first century A.D., Babylon had become a deserted ruin, and it remains so to this day. Ancient Babylon has become a symbol of godless worldly power. In Revelation Chapter 18, Rome, the centre of the world’s greatest empire in Christ’s time, was called ”Babylon” by the Apostle John. The Roman Empire too has fallen, and many others like it through the centuries. Isaiah’s message is this: all nations who set themselves up against God will ultimately come to ruin. We do well to ask: How many ”Babylons” are there in our world today?” Tom Hale: The applied Old Testament Commentary, p.1013.

”…in the landscape of history, as we view it from the eminence of the years, we can detect the…vengeance of the Almighty on the cruel, rapacious, bloodthirsty kingdom of Babylon. She had served God’s purpose, but she had committed such enormous crimes in the process of serving it, that she must be condemned.” F.B. Meyer: Great verses through the Bible, p.274.

Prayer: Lord God, ‘Babylon’ still hits the headlines each day and makes the news. Help me to remember the final chapter of the story however, and thank you for allowing me to read it in advance.