Isaiah 13: The Fall of Babylon

Remember the two themes of the book of Isaiah?

1. The sin of God’s people, the Israelites

2. The redemption all mankind through Jesus

Among these main themes, there are multiple other sub-themes in Isaiah. One of them is the idea that the ungodly (not just the Israelites) will experience consequences as the result of their actions. The great ancient city of Babylon was, for its time, an impressive center of commerce and culture. It was also a den of sin, and for this God brought it low.

This chapter is neatly divided into three separate sections. In verses 1-5, God describes the entities that will be used to defeat Babylon. As in previous chapters we have read in Isaiah, here is the description of God using other nations to exact vengeance on the ungodly.

In verses 6-18, there is the description of the destruction of Babylon. In verses 19-22, we read of the final desolation of Babylon. The city will be left as a ground for wild beasts to tread and will no longer be inhabited by man.

Looking at Babylon, we can see some applications to ourselves: Babylon was primarily concerned with itself. This pride and self-importance led to a denial of God’s rightful place. If we live and love for ourselves only and do not give thanks to God and heed His commands in His Holy Word, we too will be brought low and desolate. Consider the parable of the man who had so many blessings, yet did not consider God:

“Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”” Luke 12:16-21

It is not sin to have a lot of things, but it is sin to be selfish with our blessings. It is also wrong to not have gratitude our be thankful for what God has done for us. This pride was just one of the many sins of the citizens of Babylon. Do we ever trust too much in our earthly things and forsake their true source?

Tonight I urge you to give thanks to God for your car, your clothes, your money and the other things you possess that bring you satisfaction, comfort and ease. Our God is good and He has been so good to us all. Far be it from us to not properly recognize the source of our blessings.

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