The Fall Of Spiritual Babylon
The Fall Of Spiritual Babylon
Isaiah 13 ended with the desolation and gloom that would come upon Babylon. Since Babylon was Judah’s great enemy, any judgment on Babylon was an expression of mercy on Israel. So, Isaiah follows the pronouncement of judgment on Babylon with the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel.
Verse 1-3 convey something about the relationship that God desires for His people.....the nature of the restoration.
Here is a vision of a new world in which co-operation has replaced animosity. It is the new Day of the Lord in which the insensate passion for mutual destruction has been replaced by unity (1de), and hostility by helpfulness (2ab). But behind this display of a new humanity there is divine initiative (compassion), choice and settlement (1abc).
The invitation to Gentiles was precious (The strangers will be joined with them). The regathered and restored Israel would invite Gentiles to receive the goodness of God with them.
Rest from the trouble.......those that labor and are heavy laden, because of their bondage of sin!
The captivity of Israel was punishment for them because of their idol worship and going their own way
That captivity is also a symbol of our bondage of sin, and it is of that in which we struggle......there are many struggles in this world but sin is the greatest.......we will read later was is the producer of that sin.....(hint: Pride/ Our Own Way)
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The direction of sin is burdensome, the direction of Christ is light! Sin is captivity!
Verses 4-8.....Every living thing rejoices at this restoration......some disagree whether or not this is speaking of the short distance of future when Babylon takes Israel captive or whether it speaks of a further distance in future......I believe you can manage both in the meaning of this........
We see at first it is the Lord that brings down the king of Babylon....
God has done with the earthly king, but will also do to satan.....I would argue already has through the finished work of Jesus Christ!
The entire earth will be at rest with this evil king out of the way!
The trees rejoice
The whole earth is singing!
Verses 9-11......Hell from beneath is excited about you: Hell itself is excited to meet the king of Babylon, because it can’t wait to be the place where the one who tortured so many is tortured himself. This was true both for the king of literal Babylon, and the king of spiritual Babylon.
God wants us to know now that Satan is destined for hell. He isn’t a winner, he is a loser, and he certainly isn’t the boss or lord of hell. Satan will go to hell as a victim, as the ultimate prisoner in the dungeon of darkness, and hell will be happy to receive him this way!
And the sound of your stringed instruments: Before his fall, Satan was associated with music in heaven. Ezekiel 28:13 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” says of Satan before his fall, the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.
Apparently, the musical career of Satan did not end with his fall, because the sound of his stringed instruments is only brought down when he is imprisoned in hell.
Verses 12-15......Satan has fell............Jesus saw this....Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
There is also reference this in Revelation 12:8-10 “And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Ezekiel 28:12-17 “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones…”
The ultimate sin of Lucifer that brought about his permanent exile was pride.........Pride in himself this is similar to how he tempted Eve.....
Genesis 3:5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
This has been his ultimate temptation from the beginning, no exaltation of God, but only of self.....In the Heavenly realm that is the most wicked act.
Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Just think that iniquity was laid upon Jesus Christ! We went astray Jesus did not, yet He suffered for our going astray!
I will: The pride, the grasping selfish ambition, the self-will of the king of Babylon is powerfully expressed in five I will statements. This is the essence of the self-focused and self-obsessed life.
I will ascend into heaven: “Heaven will be my home and my place of honor.”
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: “I will be enthroned, and will be exalted above all other angelic beings.”
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation: “I will sit in the place of glory and honor and attention.”
I will ascend above the heights: “I will continue to rise, even in heaven, until all see me in my bright shining glory.”
I will be like the Most High: “I will be glorious, and be set equal to God, far above all other created beings.”
What prompted Satan’s desire to exalt himself above all other creatures? What prompted the five I will statements?
Why did Lucifer rebel? Perhaps because he rejected God’s plan to create an order of being made in His image (Genesis 1:26), who would be beneath the angels in dignity (Hebrews 2:6–7a; 2 Peter 2:11), yet would be served by angels in the present (Hebrews 1:14; 2:7–8; Psalm 91:11–12) and would one day be lifted in honor and status above the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 3:2). Satan wanted to be the highest among all creatures, equal to God in glory and honor, and the plan to create man would eventually put men above angels. He was apparently able to persuade one-third of the angelic beings to join him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:3–4, 7, and 9).
If this is the case, it explains well Satan’s present strategy against man: to obscure the image of God in man through encouraging sin and rebellion, to cause man to serve him, and to prevent the ultimate glorification of man.
Yet you shall be brought down: Despite Satan’s desire to exalt himself, he will not be exalted at all.
Verses 16-23.......Babylon Cut-off................
The nations are amazed at the fall of the king of Babylon (16–17)
Those who see you will gaze at you … “Is this the man who made the earth tremble … Who did not open the house of his prisoners?” When the king of literal Babylon fell, his weakness was exposed and others were amazed that he once had so much power, and so many feared him. The same will happen when the king of spiritual Babylon falls. People will see him for what he really is and be amazed at how much power he actually had.
The amazing and bloody destruction of Babylon (18–23)
All the kings of the nations: In this brief section, Isaiah brings his focus back more upon the king of literal Babylon. He notes the comfort and ease the other kings of the earth enjoy, but not the fallen king of Babylon, who is instead cast out of your grave like an abominable branch.
“But now a terrible things has happened; he was not given the honorable burial deemed so important for monarchs. Even the common man regarded proper burial as essential.” (Wolf) Instead of a proper burial, the king of Babylon gets a bed of maggots and a blanket of worms! (Isaiah 14:11)
“The corpse of the king of Babylon would be thrown out like a rejected branch (neser). What a contrast to the Branch from the stump of Jesse that would bear abundant fruit! (Isaiah 11:1)” (Wolf)
The destruction of Babylon—both literal and spiritual—will be complete. The LORD will cut off from Babylon the name and remnant. There will not even be a remnant of Babylon left, when the LORD will sweep it with the broom of destruction.
“Rubbish fit only for the broom of judgment—this was God’s verdict on mighty Babylon!” (Grogan)
“If God’s enemies have a bright day or two, it shall soon be showery weather with them. They may for the moment exult over God’s people, but he knows that their day of reckoning is coming.” (Spurgeon)
Judgment to come on Assyria and the Philistines [14:24–32]
The coming judgment on Assyria (24–27)
Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass: God’s thoughts are as good as actions. All God has to do is think a thought, and worlds can be created. What a comfort to know that God thinks good thoughts towards His people: I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I will break the Assyrian in My land: God did this powerfully when the Assyrians invaded Judah. 2 Kings 19:35 describes how God simply sent the angel of the LORD, and killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers.
For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? God always accomplishes His purpose! His plan is never frustrated! Even when we have no trust at all in our own plan, we can fully trust God’s purpose!
The coming judgment on the Philistines (28–31)
Do not rejoice, all you of Philista, because the rod that struck you is broken: There was constant warfare between Israel and the Philistines, and so on many occasions, Israel was the rod that struck the Philistines. Now, when Israel and Judah are humbled, God does not want the Philistines to glory in it.
All you of Philista are dissolved: God’s judgment will come against the Philistines also. They should not think that just because God was judging the Israelites, that they had somehow escaped
Some see in this a future judgment for “modern Philistines,” that is, Palestinians. The name “Palestine” is a Latin name from the name Philista, and this may be a prophetic warning to the Palestinians: do not rejoice in the suffering or downfall of Israel, because worse judgment will befall you.
A word for the messengers of the nation (32)
In the midst of the judgment of the nations, what will one then answer the messengers of the nation? What does God have to say to His people and to all the nations, when nations are being judged?
“No doubt the ‘envoys’ were Philistine diplomats sent to Jerusalem to encourage solidarity against the common Assyrian foe. As elsewhere, Isaiah’s message encouraged trust in God, not in alliances.” (Grogan)
God’s answer is simple: The LORD has founded Zion. When judgment comes, what is founded on the LORD is made evident. The storm comes and beats against the house, and tests its foundation. When the LORD has founded something, it is evident to everyone in the midst of judgment.
The second part of the answer is also simple: The poor of His people shall take refuge in it. God’s place of security is not for the rich and self-sufficient. It is for the poor of His people. It is the poor in spirit who find refuge in God’s city.