Vs. 1, “An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw.” Over the next 10 chapters we will see Isaiah announce God’s judgment on the Gentile nations who have turned from Him but also His own people too. He begins with Babylon, which would one day swallow up the Assyrians, take Judah captive and then itself be defeated by the Medes and Persians. Realize that God is in control even during wars. In the defeat of Babylon, Isaiah saw a picture of the final “day of the Lord” when the world will taste the judgment of God. God is patient with sinners, but there comes a time when His judgment must come. Isaiah’s message against Babylon was fulfilled, and the city and empire was obliterated. In Scripture, Babylon symbolizes the world system united against God (Gen. 11). Like Babylon in Isaiah’s day, the world today seems so successful and invincible; but one day, the whole system will fall (we’ve seen this happen in the economy). That is why God calls His people to separate themselves from it. (II Cor. 6:4-18).
Regarding application…Depravity. Vs. 16, “Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.“ This is the ugliness of sin that we don’t like to think about. This is ultimately why we needed Jesus to come save us. The real victims of war are the women & children. It is a chilling thought to think fellow human beings could do such things…yet it happens today! In Libya, Syria, Jordan, etc…there are women who are being raped. Children in war torn countries sold into slavery. The stories are horrific and mirrored that which we had just read. Before we are quick to judge the depravity of others…we must take a hard look within ourselves. Given such circumstances…it could easily be us who would do such atrocities. The other week, I saw one of the students mentioned they had just seen Schindler’s List. This is also a stark reminder of the depravity of what we can do to each other. We need the Lord now more than ever!