Prophecies against Israel: Isaiah 13-23 (2)
Pray Psalm 46.1-3.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
Read Isaiah 14.1-23.
1. Two rulers are addressed in these verses. What does each rule? What are the effects of their rule?
2. What insights do we gain from these verses about the larger context in which world events unfold?
After a brief aside promising restoration to His people (vv. 1, 2), Isaiah resumes his prophecy against the King of Babylon.
But there is more here than the King of Babylon.
First (vv. 3-11), judgment is pronounced against the King of Babylon. He oppressed nations and heaped gold unto himself (v. 4). He persecuted and poured out his wrath on many nations (v. 5), and he was brutal toward those he subjugated (v. 6) When he is destroyed and his kingdom is overwhelmed, the nations of the earth will know peace and rest and rejoicing (vv. 7, 8). Hell, and all those who have already made their way there, await the King of Babylon (vv. 9-11) and mock his undoing.
And all this will come to pass, just as Isaiah prophesied. But a larger victory is symbolized in the fall of Babylon and its king. Isaiah is shown a day when Lucifer, who now (in Isaiah’s day) oppressed and weakened nations, and who is filled with pride and covets the throne of God (vv. 12-14) – this heaven-dwelling being will be himself cast down and destroyed (v. 15). He rules the nations, but he will be overthrown by the power of God.
The King of Babylon is a type of Satan. As he coveted the temple and gold of Jerusalem, Satan covets the throne of God. As the King of Babylon subjected many nations and peoples to captivity and brutal rule, so Satan governed the world in the time before the coming of Christ. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple of God; Satan sought to destroy God Himself in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. The King of Babylon will be cast down and all his kingdoms become the possession of another king. Satan has been cast down and overthrown by Christ, and though he continues to struggle, he knows his doom is sure.
Isaiah is seeing into the unseen realm, where eternal verities and decisions determine everything that happens on earth, and where God rules supreme and for His own glory and the salvation of His people.
1. Meditate on Revelation 12.1-7. When was Satan finally cast out of heaven (cf. v. 5)? What does that mean for the followers of Christ (Revelation 12.8-12)?
2. Why was Lucifer finally “cut down to the ground” (cast out of heaven)? What was his great sin? Are we ever tempted in this way? Explain.
3. These prophecies against Babylon, the King of Babylon, and Lucifer are all made prior to Hezekiah’s coming to the throne. What is the message Isaiah wanted Hezekiah to receive?
How injurious to the servants of God can be the proud one who exalts himself against God and says, “I will ascend into heaven and seat my throne above the stars of heaven; I will sit on the highest mountain above the tall mountains of the north; I will ascend above the clouds; and I will be like the Most High.” It is no wonder, then, that the stubborn of spirit who will not yield to God is also able to oppress humanity. Ambrose (333-397 AD), Exposition of Psalm 118.16.15-16
Lord, keep me from the sin of pride! Grant me a humble heart so that I…
Pray Psalm 46.
Praise God for His sovereign power over all the nations, all creation, and every created thing. Call on His power to be with you for the day ahead.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 46 (Chrysostom: We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought)
God is our refuge and our strength; He is our help in times of need.
Thus though the earth beneath us should change, the sea consume the mountain range;
Waters may roar with raging speed; yet God will rescue us at length.
God’s everlasting, joyous grace gladdens the city where He dwells.
Safely in Him, we will not be moved; when morning dawns, His love will be proved.
Fears and distresses Jesus dispels for His beloved, chosen race.
Kingdoms arise and rage and roar, threat’ning the earth with sore distress.
Nations may fall, earth melt away, His Word is yet our hope and stay.
God is among us, ever to bless; He is our stronghold evermore.
Come see the works of God’s Right Hand! He breaks the nations of the earth,
shatters their foolish weapons and pride, sets all their sinful strength aside.
Them He will show His infinite worth as they before His judgment stand.
Rest in the Lord and be at peace, all who are mired in sore travail.
Lift up our God, praise Jesus our Lord; proclaim to all the earth His Word!
God is our stronghold, never to fail: thus may our hope and joy increase!
T. M. Moore
Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.
Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).