Verse 1 – The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
Burden is often used in the context of judgment, pronouncements against nations. This is a declaration of war against Babylon that God will use in the judgment of Judah.
Verse 2 – “Lift up a banner on the high mountain, Raise your voice to them; wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles.
The call to lift up a banner is to rally troops.
Verse 3 – I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones for My anger – those who rejoice in My exaltation.”
Verse 4 – The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The Lord of hosts musters the army for battle.
Verse 5 – They came from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Verse 6 – Wail, for the Day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Verse 7 – Therefore all hands will be limp, every man’s heart will melt,
Verse 8 – and they will be afraid, pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be like flames.
Verse 9 – Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. (The sinners are all those who do not fear His name.)
Verse 10 – For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine (Joel 2:31).
This is a future time, when the sun, moon and stars, that God created to give light will be plunged into darkness.
We’ve all been in power outages at some time or another. We can only imagine how much worse this is going to be when it’s accompanied with God’s wrath. That day is coming and this is our warning.
Verse 11 – “I will punish the world of its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
A spirit of pride is what keeps people from coming to God. No one can convince them that they need a Savior. They have fallen into the deceitful belief that, “They know better!” Unbelief is what will be their destruction. If they have no fear of God and refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that is what will send them on the road to hell for all eternity.
Verse 12 – I will make a mortal more rare than gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
God will reduce the population of man to the point that there will be more gold than humans.
Verse 13 – Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger (earthquakes).
Verse 14 – It shall be as the hunted gazelle, and as a sheep that no man takes up; every man will turn to his own people, and everyone will flee to his own land.
Verse 15 – Everyone who is found will be thrust through, and everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
Isaiah may have went back to the near future of the Babylon invasion. When a city was taken over, nothing was left standing or alive.
Verse 16 – Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
Here’s the amazing thing: If you lived in a city that God had protected and prospered, and a true prophet, that you positively knew spoke for God, would you not get back to God as quickly as possible in order not to have to go through what Isaiah was describing? It’s hard for some of us to believe that a warning of destruction is coming, that it has been foretold throughout scripture, but yet some will still not believe!
Verse 17 – “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and for gold, they will not delight in it.
Verse 18 – Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, and they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye will not spare children.
Verse 19 – And Babylon, the glory kingdom, the beauty of the Chaldean’s pride, will be as when God overthrow Sodom and Gomorrah.
For the first time Babylon is named as the object of God’s warring activity, Sodom and Gomorrah; Isaiah implies a horrible end. It associates Babylon with the previous sin that led to the destruction of those cities. We are no different today – sin is still sin.
Verse 20 – It will never be inhibited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
Even before Babylon became a world power, Isaiah had prophesied that. Babylon’s destruction would be so complete that the land would never again be inhabited. Babylon today is in Iraq, which still lies in ruin, buried under mound is haunted and the spirit of Nimrod is there. No one goes near it.
Verse 21 – But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches will dwell there, and wild goats will caper there.
Verse 22 – The hyenas will howl in their citadels, and jackals in their pleasant places. Her time is near to come, and her days will not be prolonged.
Isaiah spoke theses words 17 years before the destruction of Babylon. The Jews thought this would never happen because they were secure, living in their own land and had never been attacked by the Babylonians. When Isaiah says “Her days will not be prolonged,” it means, it will not go one day passed the appointed day by God.