The Prophet Declares the Doom of Babylon

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Many people worldwide, influenced by Darwinian evolution, are being deceived because they believe that God does not exist. Now I can see that the indoctrination of evolution has had another role to play in the latter part of the 20th century up to the present. Because society in general has rejected the overwhelming evidence for creation, they are now willing to worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator. – Roger Oakland, Let There Be Light

A direct consequence of the victories of Cyrus will be the fall of the gods of Babylon.  The Prophet expresses the downfall of material imagery, graphically describing the fate of the idols themselves, with many idols being torn from their pedestals, seized as spoils, and carried off by the soldiers of Cyrus.

Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon, bow as they are lowered to the ground.  They are being hauled away on ox carts. The poor beasts stagger under the weight. Both the idols and their owners are bowed down. The gods cannot protect the people, and the people cannot protect the gods. They go off into captivity together (Isaiah 46:1-2 NLT).

These false gods were unable to deliver or save and were carried off on the backs of weary beasts.  As they held humanity in superstitious captivity, they themselves would go off into captivity.

“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you (Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT).

The mother carries the child for a while, but soon tires of carrying him and leaves him provide for himself.  But God’s tender Care for His People lasts from their infancy through their boyhood and manhood to their old age.  His Everlasting Arms never weary, and His Providence never fails.

“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal? Some people pour out their silver and gold and hire a craftsman to make a god from it. Then they bow down and worship it! They carry it around on their shoulders, and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble (Isaiah 46:5-7 NLT).

The LORD has no equal.  Again, the Holy Spirit puts forth the fallacy of worshipping something inferior to the one who made it.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us (Rom 8:29-34 NASB).

“Do not forget this! Keep it in mind!  Remember this, you guilty ones. Remember the things I have done in the past.  For I alone am God!  I am God, and there is none like me. 10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. 11 I will call a swift bird of prey from the east— a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it (Isaiah 46:8-11 NLT).

In other words, “Quit acting like a beast, which can neither consider nor understand, and act like the ‘man’ that God made you!”  The things that the LORD has done in the past, and will do in the present for those who believe Him, prove Him to be God in a sense in which the Word cannot be applied to any other.  He is “Elohim.”  “El” is “The Mighty One” and “The Omnipotent.”  “Elohim” is “the Godhead in all its fullness.”

Elohim has a distinct, Divine Plan, to be sure.  And there is no doubt that His Plan will be carried through to completion.  And how touching is it that He, Who made the worlds and created man, would condescend to plead with poor mortals to investigate Him and prove His claims.

“Listen to me, you stubborn people who are so far from doing right. 13 For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now!  I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel (Isaiah 46:12-13 NLT).

 The “stubborn people” are the transgressors among the Hebrews who desired to retain the worship of idols together with the worship of Jehovah.  They wanted their own hybrid, polluted form of spirituality.  But Salvation is found alone in Zion, in the Messiah.

 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the Word of God is not bound.  Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the Salvation which is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory.  It is a Faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him (II Tim 2:9-11 KJV).

“Come down, virgin daughter of Babylon, and sit in the dust. For your days of sitting on a throne have ended. O daughter of Babylonia, never again will you be the lovely princess, tender and delicate. Take heavy millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil, and strip off your robe. Expose yourself to public view. You will be naked and burdened with shame. I will take vengeance against you without pity” (Isaiah 47:1-3 NLT).

The fall of Babylon is sure.  The city of Babylon was founded by Nimrod, the first antichrist, and will be restored with great magnificence by the last Antichrist.  In Scripture, Babylon symbolizes corruption of Divine Truth, developed into the enemy of Truth.

“Heavy millstones and grind flour” express abject slavery.  Taken in captivity, long lines of men and women will wade through streams and expose parts of their person which delicacy required to be concealed.  Such mortification portrays the idea of total defeat.

Our Redeemer, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, is the Holy One of Israel. “O beautiful Babylon, sit now in darkness and silence. Never again will you be known as the queen of kingdoms. For I was angry with my chosen people and punished them by letting them fall into your hands. But you, Babylon, showed them no mercy. You oppressed even the elderly. You said, ‘I will reign forever as queen of the world!’  You did not reflect on your actions or think about their consequences (Isaiah 47:4-7 NLT).    

Babylon, even in times of distress, has no redeemer because of her worship of idols.  She should have reasoned that if God punished His Own people so severely because of idolatry, how much more severely would He punish them because of their wickedness and how terrible would be their end.  “I will reign forever as queen of the world!” pertains to what Babylon says of herself, but the LORD says differently.

“Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure.  You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.  I will never be a widow or lose my children.’ Well, both these things will come upon you in a moment: widowhood and the loss of your children.  Yes, these calamities will come upon you, despite all your witchcraft and magic (Isaiah 47:8-9 NLT).

Babylon says in her heart, “I am, and there is none else beside me.”  She claims divinity for herself.  But she will be destroyed by the only True Divinity in one day.

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.  And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off.  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all who had ships in the sea by reason of her costlines!  For in one hour is she made desolate (Rev 18:17-19 KJV).

“You felt secure in your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said.  But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray, and you said, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’  So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away.  Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out.  A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared (Isaiah 47:10-11 NLT).

The Babylonian monarch claimed that he was the kingly substitute of God on earth.  This was a direct affront to the One True God.  As well, those of Babylon were led astray and perverted by astrology, which seduces the mind into a labyrinth of absurdities.  Their enchantments and sorceries would benefit them not in the end.

“Now use your magical charms! Use the spells you have worked at all these years!  Maybe they will do you some good. Maybe they can make someone afraid of you. 13 All the advice you receive has made you tired. Where are all your astrologers, those stargazers who make predictions each month?  Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds. 14 But they are like straw burning in a fire; they cannot save themselves from the flame. You will get no help from them at all; their hearth is no place to sit for warmth. 15 And all your friends, those with whom you’ve done business since childhood, will go their own ways, turning a deaf ear to your cries (Isaiah 47:12-15 NLT).

The destruction of these diviners is sure.  And the doom that will fall upon them will not be as a little fire that one could comfortably sit at but a devouring fire of horror and death.  The powerful influence that Babylon had and has, involving itself with every nation in the world in that day and the current day, will be totally destroyed along with all commerce and activity.

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in you; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in you.  And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you; and the voice of the Bridegroom and of the Bride shall be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived.  And in her was found the blood of Prophets, and of Saints, and of all who were slain upon the earth (Rev 18:22-24 KJV).