Morning Light – Isaiah 13

Today: [Isaiah 13] Is America Mystery Babylon? In Isaiah chapter 13 the prophet takes up a declaration against the nation of Babylon. At the time that Isaiah prophesies Babylon is not a threat to the nation of Israel or to the southern kingdom of Judah. The immediate problem is the threat of renewed civil war between the north and south and the shadow of the Assyrian empire looming over both kingdoms. Isaiah by the spirit of the Lord looks down through time and sees the Babylonian empire decades later that will destroy both the city and the temple. He also sees the rise of the Medes and Persians to destroy Babylon thereafter. We can see this all as an interesting history lesson but Rev. 17 and 18 speak to us about an end time Babylon that will also be destroyed. Some prophets have had angelic visitations wherein America itself is considered to be Mystery Babylon. Is this possible? Is so, what can we do about it?
[Isa 13:1-22 KJV] 1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. 2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. 3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness. 4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. 5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. 6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: 8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11 And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
In this chapter Isaiah takes up a declaration against the kingdom of Babylon. Why is Isaiah suddenly putting his attention upon Babylon? The immediate problem that the nation is facing is renewed war between the southern and northern kingdoms. The northern kingdom has joined the Syrians in revolting against Assyria. The southern kingdom has made an alliance with Assyria and very shortly Assyria will take the northern 10 tribes into captivity from whence they will never return and disappear from history. Afterwards the southern kingdom will become a vassal state to Assyria and in that time the kingdom of Babylon will come in and overthrow the Assyrian empire. Eventually the Babylonians will sack Jerusalem and destroy the temple. It is because of this future atrocity Isaiah now looks down through time and sees what an enemy Babylon will become to the kings of David. The very last king of David will be dragged before his Babylonian captors to see his sons executed before him. Afterwards they will put out his eyes and take him captive to Babylon thus ending the David line of kings until Jesus comes in the first century born in a manger to die on the cross and take up His throne in heaven. What of the Babylonians? After they destroy the southern kingdom the Medes and the Persians will come down and overthrow their kingdom and under the rule of Cyrus Jerusalem and the Temple will be rebuilt. Thus looking centuries ahead Isaiah foresees the predations of Babylon against Judea and proclaims their fate before they ever rise on the scene.
This is the long view of God through the lens of the prophetic. It is through Amos – who prophesied to the 13th king of the northern kingdom who said:
[Amo 3:7 KJV] 7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
If you have a listening ear very little will escape your attention, particularly if you are prophetic in your calling and prayerful in your nature. Moses in Numbers 11:29 spoke the mind of God when he said he wished that all God’s people were prophets. God has a voice. He will not leave you without answers for your life. What you need to be aware of is that very often when God does speak to you that He will not address things immediate to your situation without giving you a long view understanding of what is coming even generationally in your future. To most of the people Isaiah is prophesying to the Babylonians will never affect their lives. It will be their children and children’s children who will see these things. Why does God speak to them? Because for one thing matters can be changed through prayer. God told Jonah to prophesy against Nineveh and say in 3 days the city would be destroyed. This didn’t happen. Does this make Jonah a false prophet? By most standards in Christianity today many would claim it does. It is a false notion to suggest that if a prophesy doesn’t come to pass that is proof positive that the prophet was false or the prophesy was false. Jesus prophesied to the 12 that they would sit on thrones judging Israel. That prophesy didn’t come to pass and never will – as it was given. As originally given, this included Judas. But as the Ninevites who repented and changed their own fate, likewise Judas by rebelling change his fate to his own destruction. The prophetic is conditional and provisional. Isaiah is prophesying to a people who can stay the hand of judgment by their decision to repent – which in a measure they do under the reign of a coming king named Hezekiah. We must in matters of God’s voice and the prophetic grow up and show some maturity. The prophets are not psychics or clairvoyants. They are the servants of God for your good, sent to help you coming into alignment with the purposes of God in order to bring about a best-case outcome in your life. We ignore them to our own detriment.
When Isaiah speaks of the Babylonians – he is also speaking to us. Natural Babylon is lost to history but there is a spiritual Babylon at work in our midst today. In Revelations 18 another Babylon is spoken of that exists in the day that we live in:
[Rev 18:2, 20 KJV] 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. … 20 Rejoice over her, [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Who is modern day Babylon? Rev. 17:3 depicts Babylon as a woman sitting astride a beast with many names, holding in her hand a cup filled with the blood of many martyrs. This woman is a perfect picture of the church of the middle ages that worked brutal persecution against the faithful for centuries, from whom the modern day Catholic church is descended. Who is the beast with many names? The Latin language version of this verse gives us a clue – a beast with many “denomis” or denominations. From this perspective Babylon would be the confusion of the Christian religious system through its history with over 16,000 denominations. Babylon means confusion. Each denomination rejects the others as false. To deny Jesus even in your brother who may not believe like you is the spirit of Anti-Christ, or Babylonian error.
Some hold that Babylon in the modern day sense is the United States. Demitri Duduman, a Romanian pastor with a miraculous testimony, had a visitation from the angel Gabriel. The angel showed him a map of the United States and stated that this was “Babylon”. Duduman asked why or how the US could be Babylon and the answer was:
“Tell them, because all the nations of the world immigrated to America with their own gods and were not stopped. Encouraged by the freedom here, the wickedness began to increase. Later on, even though America was established as a Christian nation, the American people began to follow the strange gods that the immigrants had brought in, and also turned their backs on the God who had built and prospered this country.”
Could America be part of or in its entirety Mystery Babylon? The explanation of the angel is chilling because it is so accurate to the failure of our nation to uphold and maintain its historical Christian foundations.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. 14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. 15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined [unto them] shall fall by the sword. 16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. 17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and [as for] gold, they shall not delight in it. 18 [Their] bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. 19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. 21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in [their] pleasant palaces: and her time [is] near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.
While Isaiah describes ancient Babylon as overthrowing both the southern and northern kingdom in verse 17 Isaiah looks even further – centuries down through time to depict another empire, by name, calling out the Medes and Persians who Isaiah declares will then destroy the Babylonians, which indeed will happen. We must bear in mind that none of this seems immanent to the people Isaiah is prophesying to. They are a prosperous, cosmopolitan culture who worship God outwardly but also promote and worship pagan gods alongside the altar of Jehovah even in the holy place. Their concerns are focused on holding on to what they have and they see the Assyrians (a type of the anti-Christ) as part of the solution for themselves and their nation. They probably just rolled their eyes and judged Isaiah as a young idealist, a purist who wasn’t being practical minded about the current situation. We can learn from these errors. There must be something driving us that derives deeper in our character than our own convenience and the immediacy of our current needs. Isaiah’s words seem irrelevant to a people who can’t look past the end of their noses or beyond their own self-interest. This is a cautionary example to us that we might know that the God we serve has connected us to deeper issues and a higher plan and purpose beyond what may even affect us in our lifetime. To give ourselves over to that purpose and open our hearts to its message is the definition of what seeking the kingdom looks like.

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