SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
13:1 This is an oracle about Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 On a bare hill raise a signal flag;
shout to them,
wave your hand
so they might enter the gates of the princes!
3 I have given orders to my chosen soldiers;
I have summoned the warriors through whom I will vent my anger—
my boasting, arrogant ones.
4 There is a loud noise on the mountains—
it sounds like a large army!
There is great commotion among the kingdoms—
nations are being assembled!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is mustering
forces for battle.
5 They come from a distant land,
from the horizon.
It is the Lord with his instruments of judgment
coming to destroy the whole earth.
6 Wail, for the Lord’s day of judgment is near;
it comes with all the destructive power of the Sovereign One.
7 For this reason all hands hang limp,
every human heart loses its courage.
8 They panic—
cramps and pain seize hold of them
like those of a woman who is straining to give birth.
They look at one another in astonishment;
their faces are flushed red.
9 Look, the Lord’s day of judgment is coming;
it is a day of cruelty and savage, raging anger,
destroying the earth
and annihilating its sinners.
10 Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations
no longer give out their light;
the sun is darkened as soon as it rises,
and the moon does not shine.
11 I will punish the world for its evil
and wicked people for their sin.
I will put an end to the pride of the insolent,
I will bring down the arrogance of tyrants.
12 I will make human beings more scarce than pure gold
and people more scarce than gold from Ophir.
13 So I will shake the heavens,
and the earth will shake loose from its foundation,
because of the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
in the day he vents his raging anger.
14 Like a frightened gazelle
or a sheep with no shepherd,
each will turn toward home,
each will run to his homeland.
15 Everyone who is caught will be stabbed;
everyone who is seized will die by the sword.
16 Their children will be smashed to pieces before their very eyes;
their houses will be looted
and their wives raped.
17 Look, I am stirring up the Medes to attack them;
they are not concerned about silver,
nor are they interested in gold.
18 Their arrows will cut young men to ribbons;
they have no compassion on a person’s offspring;
they will not look with pity on children.
19 Babylon, the most admired of kingdoms,
the Chaldeans’ source of honor and pride,
will be destroyed by God
just as Sodom and Gomorrah were.
20 No one will live there again;
no one will ever reside there again.
No bedouin will camp there,
no shepherds will rest their flocks there.
21 Wild animals will rest there,
the ruined houses will be full of hyenas.
Ostriches will live there,
wild goats will skip among the ruins.
22 Wild dogs will yip in her ruined fortresses,
jackals will yelp in the once-splendid palaces.
Her time is almost up,
her days will not be prolonged.
14:1 The Lord will certainly have compassion on Jacob; he will again choose Israel as his special people and restore them to their land. Resident foreigners will join them and unite with the family of Jacob. 2 Nations will take them and bring them back to their own place. Then the family of Israel will make foreigners their servants as they settle in the Lord’s land. They will make their captors captives and rule over the ones who oppressed them. 3 When the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and anxiety and from the hard labor that you were made to perform, 4 you will taunt the king of Babylon with these words:
“Look how the oppressor has met his end!
Hostility has ceased!
5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked,
the scepter of rulers.
6 It furiously struck down nations
with unceasing blows.
It angrily ruled over nations,
oppressing them without restraint.
7 The whole earth rests and is quiet;
they break into song.
8 The evergreens also rejoice over your demise,
as do the cedars of Lebanon, singing,
‘Since you fell asleep,
no woodsman comes up to chop us down!’
9 Sheol below is stirred up about you,
ready to meet you when you arrive.
It rouses the spirits of the dead for you,
all the former leaders of the earth;
it makes all the former kings of the nations
rise from their thrones.
10 All of them respond to you, saying:
‘You too have become weak like us!
You have become just like us!
11 Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol,
as well as the sound of your stringed instruments.
You lie on a bed of maggots,
with a blanket of worms over you.’
12 “Look how you have fallen from the sky,
O shining one, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the ground,
O conqueror of the nations!
13 You said to yourself,
‘I will climb up to the sky.
Above the stars of El
I will set up my throne.
I will rule on the mountain of assembly
on the remote slopes of Zaphon.
14 I will climb up to the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High!’
15 But you were brought down to Sheol,
to the remote slopes of the Pit.
16 Those who see you stare at you,
they look at you carefully, thinking:
‘Is this the man who shook the earth,
the one who made kingdoms tremble?
17 Is this the one who made the world like a wilderness,
who ruined its cities
and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?’
18 As for all the kings of the nations,
all of them lie down in splendor,
each in his own tomb.
19 But you have been thrown out of your grave
like a shoot that is thrown away.
You lie among the slain,
among those who have been slashed by the sword,
among those headed for the stones of the Pit,
as if you were a mangled corpse.
20 You will not be buried with them,
because you destroyed your land
and killed your people.
“The offspring of the wicked
will never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare to execute his sons
for the sins their ancestors have committed.
They must not rise up and take possession of the earth
or fill the surface of the world with cities.
22 “I will rise up against them,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“I will blot out all remembrance of Babylon and destroy all her people,
including the offspring she produces,”
says the Lord.
23 “I will turn her into a place that is overrun with wild animals
and covered with pools of stagnant water.
I will get rid of her, just as one sweeps away dirt with a broom,”
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.