The Description of the Babylonian Conquest
Verse 1 – Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 2 – “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: ‘An end! The end has come to the four corners of the land.
Verse 3 – Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger against you, and I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations.
Verse 4 – My eyes will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will repay your works, and your abominations shall be in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord!’
Verse 5 – “Thus says the Lord God: ‘A disaster, a singular disaster; behold, it has come!
Verse 6 – An end has come, the end has come; it has dawned for you; behold, it has come!
Verse 7 – Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; the time has come, a day of trouble is near. And not of rejoicing in the mountain.
Verse 8 – Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations.
I know it seems God keeps repeating Himself in these verses, but God wants them to understand doom is upon them; they were warned over and over; and they will know why it happened.
When someone has a hardness of heart, it takes a hard-line of repetition to break through. There would be no mistake or misunderstanding of what God was punishing them for. Rebellion and stubbornness is a form of blindness to the truth. When the people wouldn’t turn back to God because of His goodness, judgment came with destruction.
Verse 9 – ‘My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord who strikes.
Verse 10 – ‘Behold, the day! Behold, it has come! Doom has gone out; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded.
Verse 11 – Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, none of heir multitude, none of them; nor shall there be wailing for them.
Judah will be completely destroyed. Their wickedness had blossomed to a head. They deserved to be judged and judged they would be. God had waited patiently, sent prophets to warn, but yet they had ignored them all. What you decide now will determine your fate when judgment comes.
Verse 12 – The time has come, the days draw near. ‘Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is on their whole multitude.
Verse 13 – For the seller shall not return to what has been sold, that he may still be alive; for the vision concerns the whole multitude, and it shall not turn back; no one will strengthen himself who lives in iniquity.
Israel had trusted in their prosperity and possessions instead of trusting in God. So God planned to destroy the bases of its prosperity. Our trust can’t be placed in anyone or anything, but God Himself! It is the Lord who gives power to get wealth… (Deuteronomy 8:18). The Lord is the one who gives wisdom, strength , health and knowledge, to acquire everything we have. Judah had forgotten that.
Verse 14 – ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, but no one goes to battle; for My wrath is on all their multitude.
Verse 15 – The sword is outside, and the pestilence and famine within. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword; and whoever is in the city, famine and pestilence will devour him.
Verse 16 – Those who survive will escape and be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each for his iniquity.
Only then, will those who escape realize their sin. Why does disaster have to strike before people realize their sin? Why is it so hard for some to acknowledge there is a loving God that only wants to give an abundant life? Why is it so hard for some to worship the One True God? Because, when the spirit of “Pride” takes over, it will consume all moral thinking and behavior and they lavish in it! They convince themselves they know better than God and will do as they please to get what they want. This is exactly what God’s people in Israel and Judah did.
Verse 17 – Every hand will be feeble, and every knee will be as weak as water.
Verse 18 – They will also be girded with sackcloth; horror will cover them; shame will be on every face, baldness on all their heads.
Verse 19 – ‘They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be like refuse; their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord; they will not satisfy their souls, nor fill their stomachs, because it became their stumbling block of iniquity.
God’s people had allowed their love for money to become the very thing that would be their stumbling block. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10 that , “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” The love of money can separate us from the love of God; it can cause envy, strife, division, and jealousy. Do you spend the majority of your time seeking money, or seeking God?
Verse 20 – ‘As for the beauty of His ornaments, He set it in majesty; but they made from it the images of their abominations and their detestable things; therefore I have made it like refuse to them.
The beauty-the temple, and all that pertained to it, which was the beauty and glory of the nation. God gave them the silver and gold and they made idols. They had acquired all this and had used it for their own selfish desires and exchanged God for idols that meant nothing.
Verse 21 – I will give it as plunder into the hands of strangers, and to the wicked of the earth as spoil; and they shall defile it.
Verse 22 – I will turn My face from them and they will defile My secret place; for robbers shall enter it and defile it.
The secret place – the inner sanctuary, hidden from the multitude, protected by the Most High. This was the Holy of Holies that only the high priest could enter, but now would be defiled by the Chaldeans.
Verse 23 – ‘Make a chain, for the land is filled with crimes of blood, and the city is full of violence.
Verse 24 – Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles, and they will possess their houses; I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease, and their holy places shall be defiled.
The temple in Jerusalem was their pride. The Babylonians had no fear of God when they went in the temple and removed all the artifacts and destroyed its surroundings. Sometimes we will be humiliated in a situation in order for that spirit of pride to be rooted out.
Verse 25 – Destruction comes; they will seek peace, but there shall be none.
Verse 26 – Disaster will come upon disaster, and rumor will be upon rumor. Then they will seek a vision from a prophet; but the law will perish from the priest, and counsel from the elders.
The priests and the elders were supposed to be able to give counsel and guidance, but this time it won’t come. They will have no words to comfort.
Verse 27 – ‘The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the common people will tremble. I will do to them according to their way, and according to what they deserve I will judge them; then they will know that I am the Lord!’ ”
James tells us in James chapter 4, to draw near to God and He will draw near to you. How close to God do you want to be in these last days? Can we ever get too much of God? God wants us to know His word, because He wants us to know Him! He wants us to imitate His ways with a heart to please Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).