Long-range Forecast (1)
Gracious Lord, Your Word is truth and gives life to all who heed it. May I do so gladly today.
Read ISAIAH 14:3-27
 On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage,  you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!  The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,  which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.  All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.  Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, “Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down.”  The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you- all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones- all those who were kings over the nations.  They will all respond, they will say to you, “You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.”  All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.  How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!  You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.  Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,  the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”  All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.  But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,  you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again.  Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.  “I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants,” declares the LORD.  “I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD Almighty.  The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.  I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.”  This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.  For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? 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 this fate for Babylon sure to come (22)?
Isaiah, writing about 800 years before John, gives us a longer view on the judgment prophesied in Revelation. Looking back over generations, we remember that God’s destruction of the ungodly world represented by the sinful city of Babylon was no capricious act. God foresaw and warned of it well in advance. Like a movie trailer screened long in advance of the film’s actual release, his judgment against the ungodly has been previewed for centuries.
Much like Revelation, prophecy is here rendered in poetry, making it somewhat oblique and unclear to the non-Hebrew reader, such as us. Yet the imagery is so vivid, it’s possible to get a sense of what Isaiah is trying to describe.
Babylon is represented by the “Morning Star” that reveled in its pride and tried to thrust itself on a higher throne than God (12,13). Its oppression of other nations is put into the shadows by the destruction now wreaked upon it. God has laid low what humans tried to exalt for their own glory—a longer-range forecast for what John prophesies in exile on Patmos. It was the Word of God and it never fails!
God’s Word never fails. Recall promises God made to you in the past and speak these words to your soul.
Thank You, Lord, that Your promises to me are totally and completely reliable. Help me always to remember that.
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