Pride Goes Before a Fall
Lord, You alone are my God, my Savior. I look to You as my one sure and true hope in all things.
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 THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are the expressions of pride and arrogance in our culture?
Throughout the Bible, Babylon is described as the epitome of human pride and arrogance. Isaiah’s prophecy is looking ahead to the time when the nation of Israel will be in captivity in Babylon. It is a message of reassurance to God’s people that God’s judgment will come on the proud empire of Babylon (9-11), that Israel’s captivity will not last forever. Just as Babylon should not “lounge in her security” (8), there is an implicit warning that God’s people should not become too settled in the relative “comfort” of their captivity in luxuriant Babylon. The big theme of the fall of Babylon goes beyond the now ancient empire. There will come a time when all human arrogance and defiance against God will be judged. As humans, when we put ourselves in the place of God (12,13) we are in a dangerous position. Nothing can take his place (14,5). The chapter is full of harsh words, yet early on there is reference to God as redeemer (4). There is always hope of restoration, even in the midst of the dire warning.
Ask God to have mercy on those who have no moral anchor, who have no Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I need the power of Your Holy Spirit to boldly affirm that You alone are the way to salvation.
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