Isaiah 21 Commentary
Three prophecies: Babylon, Edom, and Arabia. Babylon is more interesting. The lines in this chapter appear to describe Belshazzar’s fall at the hands of the Medes. They are eating and drinking. They feel safe. But suddenly disaster strikes. God’s people can rejoice!
What does Babylon’s fall mean to the saint? Well, a time comes when the oppressor is destroyed. And to the Babylonian by heart? Whatever goes up must come down! The LORD is behind it all – operating through enemy and ally alike. Working through elements of nature as well as through human activity.
So significant was the fall of Babylon that the Book of Revelation repeats these words: “With a mighty voice he shouted: ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.’” Revelation 18 verse 2
Eventually, all evil will be punished. Babylon’s sin is idolatry manifesting itself as pride. “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Daniel 4 verse 30.
The message is fully unpacked by the New Testament: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18 verse 4b.
Nothing has changed. The message still remains. Come out of your sinful existence and receive your salvation. Know that Babylon will one day be destroyed. The LORD has decreed.
There can be a temporal relief. Ask the question again and the same fate still awaits the wicked. The LORD will punish wickedness. Come out of her and be separate! The prophecy against Edom warns against complacency when the LORD gives temporal relief or success. Don’t mistake it for approval or for a permanent presence of ‘enjoyment’.
Isaiah’s visions go out to the international community. Yes. The peoples of this world receive their fate – but it is all to do with the Creator God’s decision. The time is rigidly fixed.
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