I Will Cut Off From Babylon Her Name

14: 20b-23

     DIG: If God is love, why is Babylon destroyed and no one spared (see the Day of the LORD 13:6-16)? What does this say about God’s justice?

    REFLECT: What does it mean to you that the LORD has absolute power over all who would try to exercise or usurp His authority? Where does that challenge you? How does it encourage and strengthen you?

    The final judgment is aimed at the destruction of the antichrist’s name and family. This is called the cherem judgment of God. Cherem means devoted to destruction. When Achan stole the things devoted to destruction from Jericho, he became devoted to destruction himself. As a result, Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons, and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them (Joshua 7:24-25b). At the end of the fourth stanza the cherem judgment of God is seen in the destruction of the antichrist’s family, his followers and his capital city. Nothing will remain.

    First is the destruction of the antichrist’s family. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare for the slaughter of his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land so they cannot cover the earth with their cities (14:20b-21). Here the reversed lament reaches the climax of parody. Instead of wishing that the antichrist’s name will endure after him and that his children will bring honor to his name through their own long and productive lives, the singer of this poem wishes just the opposite. They will be slaughtered so that no one will remember that he ever existed.

    Second is the destruction of the people of Babylon as Isaiah has previously described (13:2-22). No one is spared. Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children (13:18). Here Isaiah prophesies: I will rise up against them, declares the LORD of heaven’s armies (CJB), “I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants,” declares ADONAI (14:22).

    Third, the destruction of the city of Babylon is seen (see Dk – Babylon, the Jewel of Kingdoms, will be Overthrown). It will become a swampland, habitable only by demons. I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction, declares the LORD of heaven’s armies (14:23). During the Millennial Kingdom, the entire world reverts back to the way it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall because Satan is in the Abyss. But there are two exceptions, Babylon and Edom. For a thousand years they will be in continual burning wastelands. Satan will be in the Abyss and the demons will live in Babylon and Edom.

    This is how pride always ends. It takes you further than you wanted to go and costs you more than you wanted to pay. Wanting to leave his mark of the world by brute force, everything he worked for, even his memory, is destroyed by death. In contrast, Isaiah points out that those who put their pride aside and choose to become bondservants (Second Corinthians 4:5; Ephesians 6:5-6 NKJ) of ADONAI are those who will live forever in His memory (11:10-16, 25:6-8, 26:19, 27:13, 40:27-31, 54:7-8).

 

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