All-Wise God, I know that You are the source of all true wisdom. I come seeking more of Your wisdom now.
Read Isaiah 47:1-15
 “Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, queen city of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate.  Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams.  Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.”  Our Redeemer-the LORD Almighty is his name- is the Holy One of Israel.  “Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms.  I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke.  You said, ‘I am forever- the eternal queen!’ But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.  “Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’  Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.  You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’  Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.  “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.  All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.  Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by.  That is all they are to you- these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy is God bringing this awful judgment on Babylon?
Comedians and newspaper columnists describe the world for us with a confidence that brooks no questions. It’s hard for Christians to respond to such self-assurance because God’s people are often discouraged, seemingly overwhelmed by the certainties of the non-Christian culture around us. “I am, and there is none besides me” has a very contemporary ring. It could be the slogan of today’s New Atheist movement. Atheism is most prevalent in parts of the world where there is plenty. Societies that feel secure can afford to devote themselves to “pleasure” (8). People become proud and arrogant. They think that nothing will happen to them that can’t be overcome through their own wisdom and knowledge (11). They’re wrong on both counts. The mighty empire of Babylon had all those characteristics. Here God sends them a message of warning and judgment, describing Babylon as a queen without a throne, robbed of her inheritance, stripped naked and forced to do menial work (1-3). If we adopt the “wisdom and knowledge” of our secular culture, we will be subject to the same judgment.
How much of the surrounding culture have you accidentally taken on? Pray to be aware and to turn from it.
Lord, I pray for me and for my country that we will seek our “wisdom and knowledge” from You, not false sources.
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