Series: Thru the Bible
Message: Predictions of Judgment
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Predictions of Judgment
The Judgment of Babylon
“(1) This is an oracle about the wilderness by the Sea: Like strong winds blowing in the south, one invades from the wilderness, from a land that is feared.
(2) I have received a distressing message: “The deceiver deceives, the destroyer destroys. Attack, you Elamites! Lay siege, you Medes! I will put an end to all the groaning!”
These are the Persians from modern day Iran.
“(3) For this reason my stomach churns; cramps overwhelm me like the contractions of a woman in labor. I am disturbed by what I hear, horrified by what I see.
(4) My heart palpitates, I shake in fear; the twilight I desired has brought me terror.
(5) Arrange the table, lay out the carpet, eat and drink!
Get up, you officers, smear oil on the shields!
(6) For this is what the Lord has told me:
“Go, post a guard! He must report what he sees.
(7) When he sees chariots, teams of horses, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, he must be alert, very alert.”
(8) Then the guard cries out:
“On the watchtower, O Lord, I stand all day long; at my post I am stationed every night. (9) Look what’s coming! A charioteer, a team of horses.”
When questioned, he replies,
“Babylon has fallen, fallen! All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”
(10) O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor, what I have heard from the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, I have reported to you.”
Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire and king of Persia from 559–530 BC. He conquered the Median Empire and eventually the Neo–Babylonian Empire around 539BC.
All of this has a dual fulfillment for many of these things are mentioned in Revelation regarding the metaphysical Babylon which represents the fallen world system.
The phrase, “Babylon has fallen, fallen!” which appears both here and in Revelation 18 makes this clear.
Both Revelation 17 & 18 describe a future fall of Babylon, one appears on the surface to be a commercial Babylon and the other a spiritual Babylon but both are then ruled by the Antichrist and queens appointed over them who are filled with blasphemy against God, hate believers and search them out to kill them and they are all eventually judged.
The same panic and terror the people of Babylon felt when the ancient great city was conquered by the Medes and Persians will be seen again in this future manifestation.
God will strike both systems which will terrify the entire world in much the same way, but God’s people in both heaven and earth will rejoice (see Rev. 18:9-20).
“(1) After these things I saw another angel, who possessed great authority, coming down out of heaven, and the earth was lit up by his radiance. (2) He shouted with a powerful voice: “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great! She has become a lair for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detested beast.
(3) For all the nations have fallen from the wine of her immoral passion, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have gotten rich from the power of her sensual behavior.”
(4) Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so you will not take part in her sins and so you will not receive her plagues, (5) because her sins have piled up all the way to heaven and God has remembered her crimes.
(6) Repay her the same way she repaid others; pay her back double corresponding to her deeds. In the cup she mixed, mix double the amount for her. (7) As much as she exalted herself and lived in sensual luxury, to this extent give her torment and grief because she said to herself, ‘I rule as queen and am no widow; I will never experience grief!’ (8) For this reason, she will experience her plagues in a single day: disease, mourning, and famine, and she will be burned down with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is powerful!”
(9) Then the kings of the earth who committed immoral acts with her and lived in sensual luxury with her will weep and wail for her when they see the smoke from the fire that burns her up. (10) They will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment, and will say, “Woe, woe, O great city, Babylon the powerful city! For in a single hour your doom has come!”
(11) Then the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her because no one buys their cargo any longer – (12) cargo such as gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all sorts of things made of citron wood, all sorts of objects made of ivory, all sorts of things made of expensive wood, bronze, iron and marble, (13) cinnamon, spice, incense, perfumed ointment, frankincense, wine, olive oil and costly flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and four-wheeled carriages, slaves and human lives. (14) (The ripe fruit you greatly desired has gone from you, and all your luxury and splendor have gone from you – they will never ever be found again!)
(15) The merchants who sold these things, who got rich from her, will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment. They will weep and mourn, (16) saying, “Woe, woe, O great city – dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet clothing, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls – (17) because in a single hour such great wealth has been destroyed!”
And every ship’s captain, and all who sail along the coast – seamen, and all who make their living from the sea, stood a long way off (18) and began to shout when they saw the smoke from the fire that burned her up, “Who is like the great city?”
(19) And they threw dust on their heads and were shouting with weeping and mourning, “Woe, Woe, O great city – in which all those who had ships on the sea got rich from her wealth – because in a single hour she has been destroyed!”
(20) (Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has pronounced judgment against her on your behalf!)
(21) Then one powerful angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone, threw it into the sea, and said, “With this kind of sudden violent force Babylon the great city will be thrown down and it will never be found again! (22) And the sound of the harpists, musicians, flute players, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again. No craftsman who practices any trade will ever be found in you again; the noise of a mill will never be heard in you again. (23) Even the light from a lamp will never shine in you again! The voices of the bridegroom and his bride will never be heard in you again. For your merchants were the tycoons of the world, because all the nations were deceived by your magic spells!
(24) The blood of the saints and prophets was found in her, along with the blood of all those who had been killed on the earth.”
The Judgment of Edom
“(11) This is an oracle about Dumah:
Someone calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?”
(12) The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but then night. If you want to ask, ask; come back again.”
Though it is hard to say much that is clear about this short prophecy it seems as if they are in some way expecting judgment. Edom has always been looking over its shoulder at Jacob both in expectation of judgment and to stir up mischief against Israel. However, there remains an uneasiness in Edom. It reminds me of the passage in Hebrews which draws a comparison between Esau who treated his birthright lightly and those believers who continue on in sin to the point of rejecting the advances of the Spirit calling them to repentance. It says that Esau sought for repentance but none was given him. Perhaps both Esau and his descendants continued with an awareness of God’s disapproval and therefore of a lurking and impending doom.
The Judgment of Arabia
“(13) This is an oracle about Arabia:
In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night, you Dedanite caravans.
(14) Bring out some water for the thirsty. You who live in the land of Tema, bring some food for the fugitives. (15) For they flee from the swords – from the drawn sword and from the battle-ready bow and from the severity of the battle.
(16) For this is what the Lord has told me:
“Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. (17) Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.”
Indeed, the LORD God of Israel has spoken.”
You may remember how after the death of Sarah, Abraham married Keturah with whom he had six sons, one of which was Jokshan. These Dedanites were Arabians that descended from Jokshan, a son of Abraham.
They were apparently nomadic, being either shepherds, who moved from place to place for the sake of pasture and who sold off the wool, milk and some of the flock wherever they traveled; or merchants, who went in caravans and troops with their merchandise from one country to another.
Ezek. 27:15 says, “The Dedanites were your clients. Many coastlands were your customers; they paid you with ivory tusks and ebony.” So that they traveled and sold goods of some sort seems evident.
The Valley of Vision
This was most likely a reference to the inhabitants of the valley of Sion around Jerusalem who were prophets.
“(1) This is an oracle about the Valley of Vision:
What is the reason that all of you go up to the rooftops?
(2) The noisy city is full of raucous sounds; the town is filled with revelry. Your slain were not cut down by the sword; they did not die in battle.
(3) All your leaders ran away together – they fled to a distant place; all your refugees were captured together – they were captured without a single arrow being shot.
(4) So I say:
“Don’t look at me! I am weeping bitterly. Don’t try to console me concerning the destruction of my defenseless people.”
(5) For the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies, has planned a day of panic, defeat, and confusion.
In the Valley of Vision people shout and cry out to the hill. (6) The Elamites picked up the quiver, and came with chariots and horsemen; the men of Kir prepared the shield.”
The Elamites we know as the Persians who at this time were subject to the Assyrians and fought for them in their armies as did the men of Kir. Kir was simply another way of referring to the men of Media…they were Medes.
“(7) Your very best valleys were full of chariots; horsemen confidently took their positions at the gate. (8) They removed the defenses of Judah.
At that time you looked for the weapons in the House of the Forest.”
This “may” be in reference to the armories of Solomon which according to 1 Kings 10:16-17 were kept in the palace of Lebanon’s forest.
“(9) You saw the many breaks in the walls of the City of David; you stored up water in the lower pool.
(10) You counted the houses in Jerusalem, and demolished houses so you could have material to reinforce the wall.
(11) You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool – but you did not trust in the One Who made it; you did not depend on the One Who formed it long ago!
(12) At that time the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies, called for weeping and mourning, for shaved heads and sackcloth.
(13) But look, there is outright celebration!
You say, “Kill the ox and slaughter the sheep, eat meat and drink wine. Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
(14) The LORD of Heaven’s Armies told me this:
“Certainly this sin will not be forgiven as long as you live,” says the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
(15) This is what the Sovereign LORD of Heaven’s Armies, says:
“Go visit this administrator, Shebna, who supervises the palace, and tell him:
(16) ‘What right do you have to be here?
What relatives do you have buried here?
Why do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here?
He chisels out his burial site in an elevated place, he carves out his tomb on a cliff.
(17) Look, the LORD will throw you far away, you mere man! He will wrap you up tightly. (18) He will wind you up tightly into a ball and throw you into a wide, open land. There you will die, and there with you will be your impressive chariots, which bring disgrace to the house of your master.
(19) I will remove you from your office; you will be thrown down from your position.
(20) “At that time I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. (21) I will put your robe on him, tie your belt around him, and transfer your authority to him.”
Both Shebna and Eliakim were servants of King Hezekiah. Shebna is referred to as both a supervisor in King Hezekiah’s palace AND as a scribe, but he was selfish and vainglorious. Eliakim was also a supervisor in the palace of King Hezekiah but was honorable and had a heart towards God. As such, God in His sovereignty determined to take all position and authority of Shebna and transfer it to His faithful servant Eliakim.
There is very little known of this particular Eliakim being only referenced in about 6 passages throughout all of scripture, but as is often the case – those who attract very little attention here on earth are widely known and greatly celebrated in Heaven!
As such Eliakim was honored to be a “type’ and “foreshadowing” of Jesus Himself without his ever knowing it in this life.
Jesus Himself told us this passage spoke of Him. Jesus told John in His Revelation to the church,
“These things says He Who is holy, He Who is true, “He Who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.” – Rev. 3:7. As we know, Jesus is the One with the keys of Hades and of Death (Rev. 1:8), and Who has all authority both in heaven and on earth. Jesus delegates this authority as it pleases Him (Matthew 16:19).
“He will become a protector of the residents of Jerusalem and of the people of Judah.
(22) I will place the key to the house of David on his shoulder. When he opens the door, no one can close it; when he closes the door, no one can open it.
(23) I will fasten him like a peg into a solid place; he will bring honor and respect to his father’s family.
(24) His father’s family will gain increasing prominence because of him, including the offspring and the offshoots. All the small containers, including the bowls and all the jars will hang from this peg.’
(25) “At that time,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “the peg fastened into a solid place will come loose. It will be cut off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off.” Indeed, the LORD has spoken.”
The Judgment of Tyre
Rather than write something myself regarding this city I have chosen to borrow from the excellent words of David Guzik regarding Tyre…
To the north of Israel, Tyre was the leading city of Phoenecia, the great maritime power of the ancient world. Because it was such an important harbor and center for shipping, Tyre was synonymous with commerce and materialism.
Tyre was the “Babylon of the Sea.” Because of their excellent harbor and seamanship, they established a commercial empire far greater than one would expect given their size and military power.
Tyre was a city in two parts – an inland city, and an island city. The inland city was conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, just as Isaiah prophesied. The island city was conquered later by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.
Tyre was a mixed bag for Israel. King Hiram of Tyre supplied David and Solomon great timbers for the building of the temple and other projects. Hiram gave Solomon sailors so Israel could build their commerce by sea. Later however, Tyre gave helped to influence Israel in one of the worst ways in their history through Jezebel, wife of Ahab king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
“(1) This is an oracle about Tyre:
Wail, you large ships, for the port is too devastated to enter! From the land of Cyprus this news is announced to them.
(2) Lament, you residents of the coast, you merchants of Sidon who travel over the sea, whose agents sail over (3) the deep waters!
Grain from the Shihor region, crops grown near the Nile she receives; she is the trade center of the nations.
(4) Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea says this, O fortress of the sea:
“I have not gone into labor or given birth; I have not raised young men or brought up young women.”
(5) When the news reaches Egypt, they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre.
(6) Travel to Tarshish! Wail, you residents of the coast!
(7) Is this really your boisterous city whose origins are in the distant past, and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?
(8) Who planned this for royal Tyre, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the dignitaries of the earth?
(9) The LORD of Heaven’s Armies planned it – to dishonor the pride that comes from all her beauty, to humiliate all the dignitaries of the earth.
(10) Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile; there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre.
(11) The LORD stretched out his hand over the sea, He shook kingdoms; He gave the order to destroy Canaan’s fortresses.
(12) He said, “You will no longer celebrate, oppressed virgin daughter Sidon! Get up, travel to Cyprus, but you will find no relief there.”
(13) Look at the land of the Chaldeans, these people who have lost their identity!
The Assyrians have made it a home for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, demolished its fortresses, and turned it into a heap of ruins.
(14) Wail, you large ships, for your fortress is destroyed!
(15) At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the typical life span of a king. At the end of seventy years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song:
16) “Take the harp, go through the city, forgotten prostitute! Play it well, play lots of songs, so you’ll be noticed!”
(17) At the end of seventy years the LORD will revive Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms.
(18) Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the LORD.
They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the LORD’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes.”
The earth is and will be judged by the Lord
The Psalmist tells us in the 24th Psalm, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, the earth and those within it.”
1Sam. 2:10, “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
1Chron. 16:33, “Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth.”
Psalm 94:2, “Rise up, O Judge of the earth; Render punishment to the proud.”
The more I study the scriptures the more I am amazed and how MUCH they speak about the ‘Day of the Lord’ (though rarely by that name) where God radically and quickly advances His plans, purposes and agenda on the earth but I am equally amazed at how little it is mentioned by Christians.
This chapter is talking about God judging the earth. It could easily refer to ANY time in history, but has special and final significance at the end of the world itself. During the Great Tribulation God will in fact judge the whole earth, but this will culminate in the establishment of its only true King Jesus during His Millennial Reign from Jerusalem.
“(1) Look, the LORD is ready to devastate the earth and leave it in ruins; He will mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
(2) Everyone will suffer –
the priest as well as the people,
the master as well as the servant,
the elegant lady as well as the female attendant,
the seller as well as the buyer,
the borrower as well as the lender,
the creditor as well as the debtor.
(3) The earth will be completely devastated and thoroughly ransacked. For the LORD has decreed this judgment.
(4) The earth dries up and withers, the world shrivels up and withers; the prominent people of the earth fade away. (5) The earth is defiled by its inhabitants, for they have violated laws, disregarded the regulation, and broken the permanent treaty.
(6) So a treaty curse devours the earth; its inhabitants pay for their guilt. This is why the inhabitants of the earth disappear, and are reduced to just a handful of people.
(7) The new wine dries up, the vines shrivel up, all those who like to celebrate groan.
(8) The happy sound of the tambourines stops, the revelry of those who celebrate comes to a halt, the happy sound of the harp ceases.
(9) They no longer sing and drink wine; the beer tastes bitter to those who drink it. (10) The ruined town is shattered; all of the houses are shut up tight.
(11) They howl in the streets because of what happened to the wine; all joy turns to sorrow; celebrations disappear from the earth.
(12) The city is left in ruins; the gate is reduced to rubble.
(13) This is what will happen throughout the earth, among the nations. It will be like when they beat an olive tree, and just a few olives are left at the end of the harvest.
(14) They lift their voices and shout joyfully; they praise the majesty of the LORD in the west.
(15) So in the east extol the LORD, along the seacoasts extol the fame of the LORD God of Israel.
(16) From the ends of the earth we hear songs – the Just One is majestic. But I say, “I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! I’m doomed! Deceivers deceive, deceivers thoroughly deceive!”
(17) Terror, pit, and snare are ready to overtake you inhabitants of the earth!
(18) The one who runs away from the sound of the terror will fall into the pit; the one who climbs out of the pit, will be trapped by the snare.
For the floodgates of the heavens are opened up and the foundations of the earth shake.
(19) The earth is broken in pieces, the earth is ripped to shreds, the earth shakes violently.
(20) The earth will stagger around like a drunk; it will sway back and forth like a hut in a windstorm. Its sin will weigh it down, and it will fall and never get up again.
(21) At that time the LORD will punish the heavenly forces in the heavens and the earthly kings on the earth. (22) They will be imprisoned in a pit, locked up in a prison, and after staying there for a long time, they will be punished.
(23) The full moon will be covered up, the bright sun will be darkened; for the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the presence of His assembly, in majestic splendor.”