-The prophecies now turn from Judah, and to a lesser extent the Northern Kingdom of Israel, to the kingdom of Babylon as an oracle that basically goes from chapter 13 to chapter 23 is expressed. Isaiah really sees this vision coming in a future time before anyone else humanly speaking. God’s anger will burn against this pagan nation who has set itself up against Him after having no regard for Him even though they were used as His instrument of discipline upon His people. He will gather the nations to them for uproar and fury in judgment as His new instruments of indignation to destroy the whole land of Babylon [present day Iraq] (Isaiah 13:1-5). This event is described as “the day of the LORD,” which is repeated throughout Scripture with diverse implications. This will indeed be a time when Babylon knows that its strength has failed them. Their hands will fall limp, their hearts will melt, they will be terrified, pains and anguish will take hold of them, they will writhe like a woman in childbirth labor, and they will look at each other in astonishment seeing their faces aflame [possible nuclear war depiction] (Isaiah 13:6-8). Yes, the LORD’s day is coming, “cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation (Isaiah 13:9).” The stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light, and the sun will be dark when it comes up in the sky. Nor will the moon shed its light at night. Thus, God will punish the whole world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity. He will put an end to the arrogance of the proud and the haughtiness of the ruthless (Isaiah 13:10-11). Babylon will have fewer mortal men in it than pure gold as He makes the heavens tremble and the earth shaken from its place at His fury in the day of His burning anger. People will flee to their homelands, and any found will be annihilated. Not even the young or the pregnant will escape the torturous time (Isaiah 13:12-16). This has aspects of the Medo-Persian demolition, but undoubtedly there are some references here to the end of days on the earth and the great tribulation. Prophecy works like that often in Scripture with double meanings and varying levels of fulfillment. The Medes are mentioned explicitly in verse seventeen. They will come and conquer (which we know to be true in history) with no regard for silver or gold. They are a ruthless invader who do not consider the young or the pregnant. For the Babylonians, who had lifted themselves up in arrogant defiance of the Living God, their destruction was akin to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:18-19). Desolation is again prophesied from generation to generation as animals inhabit the land. This particular part of the prophecy was said of the LORD to be coming soon as the fateful time of Babylon with no prolonging of her days (Isaiah 13:20-22). The wonder of the world, which was Babylon in her glory, was indeed swept away with fascist action in a blitzkrieg of fury. *Application* Their example for us is in their highfaluting disdain for the LORD of the Universe. Anything or anyone who sets themselves up against God is doomed from the beginning even if it seems to be successful in the beginning stages. Only the fear of the LORD is the true beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).
Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 13:6