THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part XXII. Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Wicked Babylon, Isiaah 13:1-14:23
A. Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Wicked Babylon As A City And As A Latter Day World System
A. Isaiah 13:1-14:23 offers multiple predictions that address on the one hand His judgments on local Babylon and its king in Isaiah's time, and on the other hand His future judgments on a world system of evil under Satan.
B. The reason for this interplay of predictions near and distant judgment, as we learned in studying Revelation, is that the evil that began in the local city of Babylon, which city has now been destroyed, continues to expand in a world system touted by Satan, and it needs to be judged in the coming Great Tribulation, Revelation 17-18!
C. Thus, we note Isaiah 13:1-22 predicts first in Isaiah 13:1-8, 17-22 God's judgment on the city of Babylon in Isaiah's era and Isaiah 13:9-16 tells of His judgment on Babylon the Great as a system in the Great Tribulation.
D. Accordingly, this section of Isaiah 13:1-22 encourages us that God will surely judge the wickedness we face:
II. Anticipating God's Sure Judgment Of Wicked Babylon As A City And As A Latter Day World System.
A. Isaiah announced in Isaiah 13:1 that God had given him a prophetic burden about judgment on Babylon.
B. That message announced God's judgment would surely fall on the local evil Babylon of Isaiah's era, Is. 13:2-8:
1. God led Isaiah to refer to the invading Medes (or Persians, v. 17) as His "sanctified ones," His mighty men to execute His wrath against local Babylon, Isaiah 13:2-3; Ryrie Study Bib., KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isa. 13:3-5.
2. The ominous sound of the tumult of invaders on the mountains as of a great multitude (Isa. 13:4a) is as the sound of an uproar of kingdoms amassing together under God's leadership, a huge army from a distant land coming as God's weapons of wrath to destroy the whole land, Isaiah 13:4b-5. Persia lay 350 miles east of Babylon, indeed a far land to the city of Babylon in Isaiah's day, Wycliffe Bib. Com., 1971, p. 621.
3. Thus, Isaiah called for the Babylonians to wail since the day of the Lord was near as a destruction sure to come (Isaiah 13:6), and he predicted that great fear would come upon the Babylonians (Isaiah 13:7-8).
C. However, God then had Isaiah reach down through the ages to predict His still future judgment on the world system of evil that began in local Babylon, which judgment will occur in the Great Tribulation, Isaiah 13:9-16:
1. Referring to the distant, end-time "Day of the Lord," Isaiah predicted that this era would be cruel, with wrath and fierce anger of God that would leave the land a desolation and destroy its sinners, Isaiah 13:9.
2. At that time, the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light (Isa. 13:10a), the sun will be dark at its rising and the moon will not give its light (Isa. 13:10b), what is predicted to occur in Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:12-13 before Christ's Second Coming, for God will then punish the whole world (Isa. 13:11a) for its sin that began at ancient, local Babylon and kept developing worldwide.
3. God will thus end the pomp of the arrogant and lay low the pride of ruthless men, making survivors more rare than fine gold (Isa. 13:11b-12) as He makes the whole universe shake in His fierce anger, Isa. 13:13.
4. Men will be so terrified at God's expressions of wrath that they will each flee to his own people and land like terrified animals, and he who is found will be thrust through and fall by the sword, Isaiah 13:14-15.
5. Atrocities will occur to infants, houses and women in this terrible time, Isaiah 13:16; Matthew 24:16-19.
D. Returning to the more immediate future to tell of God's judgment on the local city of Babylon of Isaiah's time, God led the prophet to predict the lasting desecration of the city, what has been fulfilled today, Isa. 13:17-22:
1. God would stir up the Medes mercilessly to destroy Babylon, young men and children alike, Isa. 13:17-18.
2. Consequently, the city of Babylon, the glory of kingdoms in its day, would be as desolate as Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them (Isa. 13:19), never to be inhabited for all generation (Isa. 13:20a), with no Arab even pitching his tent there (Isa. 13:20b) and no shepherds making their flocks of sheep even lie down there since the spot would be so wild, desolate and foreboding, Isaiah 13:20c.
3. Indeed, wild animals would haunt the site, a prophecy that has been fulfilled, Isaiah 13:21-22; Ibid.
Lesson: God predicted the local Babylon's severe, permanent fall for its sin as well as the yet future fall of Babylon the Great in the Great Tribulation for its great wickedness. We have seen the fulfillment of God's severe judgment on the ancient, local city of Babylon, so we can be sure that the Lord will severely judge its worldwide evil as well!
Application: We can be sure that God knows all about and that He hates the evil we face in today's "Babylon the Great" world system, that He will thus certainly judge it! May we then be encouraged to live uprightly in our era!