Death to The King of Babylon

“I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there … More

Selfishness

Isaiah warned that Judah would one day be taken into captivity by Babylon and this happened in 586 B.C. Jeremiah prophesied that this captivity would last for 70 years. After this, Babylon would be judged and the Jews were permitted to go home (Jer. 25:1-14). The picture in today’s portion of scripture is that of a mighty king whose pride brought him to destruction. Isaiah was able to see through the corridor of time to the captivity of Israel, the fall of Babylon, and the return of Israel. The fall of Babylon would assure God’s people that He would work on their behalf (v. 1).It is interesting to note that God is the Landowner, since the land of Israel is called “the land of the Lord” (v. 2).

The one whose fury would end is the oppressor who had struck down peoples and aggressively subdued nations (vv. 3-8). His death would bring rest, peace and joy to the entire region. This rest is pictured symbolically by the great cedar trees of Lebanon saying that they were then safe. No longer would they be in danger of being cut down to provide tribute to Sennacherib. Isaiah describes the king’s arrival in hell, (the world of the dead) where the king’s wealth, glory and power vanished. In fact, the king already there, stood in tribute to him (v. 9). They were amazed that he had become weak and dead like them (v. 10). Though he had lived in his riches he would now lie in corruption like them. The worms would decompose his body in the grave (v. 11). It seems that Isaiah is using the fall of Satan to illustrate the fall of this Babylonian king. Five times, the personal pronoun “I” is used to emphasize the selfish determinations of both Satan and Satan-empowered men to replace God, Himself, as the rightful ruler of this world.

Application

I need to keep in mind that everything I have belongs to the Lord and I’m his caretaker.

Isaiah 14:1-11 (English Standard Version)

For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD's land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.' Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. All of them will answer and say to you: 'You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!' Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers."

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