Highlights In Today's Reading:
Chapter 51 completes the prophecy against Babylon. Why were they to be destroyed? Because they sinned against the Holy One of Israel (51:5-7). It is a very "final" prophecy (51:61-64). This last Chapter (52) is a historical replay, describing Zedekiah's reign and rebellion (vss 1-11). The remainder of the chapter is a recap of history, sadly picturing Israel's once-glorious splendor under David and Solomon.
Babylon's splendor and gigantic empire were spectacular. The walls of Babylon were 80 feet broad and 360 feet in height and they appeared invincible. The palace and vast architecture within gave the impression of being an imperishable empire. But the prophet Jeremiah foretold: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshingfloor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come (51:33). It was no problem for God to destroy its very existence just as earlier prophesied (25:12). All her excellence became a ruin, and ancient Babylon became a wilderness without an inhabitant (51:37,62).
Babylon's defeat came at a time when its leaders were filled with pride and feasting, and were fearless of all the world. It was the signal for freedom and redemption for the faithful Jews in captivity who were warned more than once to flee from Babylon and deliver every man his soul (51:6,45). After its defeat by Cyrus, they were at liberty to remain in Babylon and enjoy its luxury and new-found freedom; but they were commissioned by prophecy to restore the desolations of the once-magnificent Jerusalem.
The world as we know it is a system as well as a planet. Babylon is a type of the world system or order. We are warned: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:15-16). Whenever souls are redeemed by the blood of Jesus they become pilgrims and strangers in this world (Philippians 3:20; I Peter 2:11). The first effect of redemption is separation from this world. Behind all worldly activities is the satanic system that seeks to defeat and destroy the ministry of God. The world by (human) wisdom knew not God (I Corinthians 1:21) and hated Christ (John 15:18). Although we have not yet left this world as a place, we have already been set free from it as a system. We do not belong.
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils. . . . And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues (Revelation 18:2,4).
Thought for Today:
The time is swiftly coming when enemies of God will be judged. Be sure you are on the Lord's side.
As the Creator of the universe (Jeremiah 51:15). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16).
51:2 fanners =b> strangers, destroyers; fan =catter, disperse; 51:11 device =b> plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish =b> foolish; every founder =b> every metal caster; by the graven image =b> by the idol he has made; 51:25 mountain =b> power; 51:31 at one end =b> from end to end; 51:42 The sea =b> The flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head =b> showed favor to.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Rep. David Reichert (WA) • Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom is increasing • 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Glorify God who is able to use national leaders to accomplish His purposes (Ezra 7:27-28).
Optional Reading: Revelation 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:18