Isaiah 47 Commentary
Compare verse 6 with Job 1 verses 8 and 12. In Isaiah, the LORD God is angry with His people. Consequently, Jacob is left in the hands of cruelty – without the usual protection. In the Book of Job, the LORD is actually happy with Job. He is boasting about him. Eventually, the LORD lifts His protection and hell breaks loose on Job.
Why is Babylon punished when the LORD is using Babylon as a whip to punish Israel?
There are several thoughts popping up from this chapter.
Yes, the LORD used Babylon to inflict punishment on Israel but by simply allowing existing wickedness to have its way. It was never like a godly parent using the rod on his son. Babylon was a bad tool by itself: cruelty, pride, sorcery, and idolatry.
Her days are numbered. Babylon’s pride comes to nothing. There is a day for each one of us. Babylon’s punishment is actually our day of celebration. Our Redeemer, the LORD Almighty will have inflicted vengeance on Babylon. The picture of Babylon becomes a moniker for wickedness that will eventually be punished.
We can reflect on these thoughts and find comfort in the LORD God, our Redeemer. We guess the scripture is pointing to the time of the Son named Immanuel, the Servant.
Jacob’s suffering here is actually punishment. Job’s suffering wasn’t punishment. The saint may not always tell the difference. Babylon’s destruction and suffering is judgment – a sentence meted out by the Judge of the universe.
The LORD punishes Jacob in order to point him back to the true worship of the God of Abraham. Babylon’s destruction is a cleanup operation. Let wickedness disappear from the LORD’s holy presence. And it often means destroying wicked elements from creation. Job’s suffering is the suffering of the righteous. Only God knows why. Regardless, the LORD is honored, in all things. The LORD always wins.
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