The Humiliation of Babylon
47 Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no more be called
tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind flour,
put off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
and your disgrace shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
and I will spare no one.
Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name—
is the Holy One of Israel.
Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans;
for you shall no more be called
the mistress of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people;
I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand;
you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy.
You said, “I shall be mistress forever,”
so that you did not lay these things to heart
or remember their end.
Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children”:
These two things shall come to you
in a moment, in one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
and the great power of your enchantments.
You felt secure in your wickedness;
you said, “No one sees me”;
your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me.”
But evil shall come upon you,
which you will not know how to charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
for which you will not be able to atone;
and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,
of which you know nothing.
Stand fast in your enchantments
and your many sorceries,
with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed;
perhaps you may inspire terror.
You are wearied with your many counsels;
let them stand forth and save you,
those who divide the heavens,
who gaze at the stars,
who at the new moons make known
what shall come upon you.
Behold, they are like stubble;
the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
no fire to sit before!
Such to you are those with whom you have labored,
who have done business with you from your youth;
they wander about, each in his own direction;
there is no one to save you.
Isaiah 47 Commentary
by Hank Workman
We have heard and have spoken even that God is the God of the past, the present and the future. It’s a tremendous statement that can bring hope to our own situations and longings. It can bring a trust when we are in the middle of some horrifically difficult things and can claim this truth.
To me, this passage speaks toward that through Isaiah’s words and history.
So get this, Isaiah prophecies 150 years before it would happen that Babylon would be brought low. Babylon would be stripped of all its power. What makes this so intriguing and yes amazing to the fact He is God above the past, present and future is at the time of this prophecy Babylon had not emerged as a political player on the world stage. Let that sink in. Babylon was simply a pagan nation having zero power. Within this 150 year period Babylon would emerge as a mighty political force that seemed unstoppable. This empire would eventually rise up and destroy Judah and Jerusalem. But at the speaking of the prophecy there wasn’t even an inkling of this possibility.
As the events God would use to discipline Israel for all their own waywardness, He would then use these oppressors to become captives themselves.
As God continued to lay down the gauntlet to His people, they were warned of what was to come. They would in time be handed over to oppression and slaughter. They would be taken captive and live as aliens in a foreign land. Yet, God would then move things once again and bring them toward freedom and see so much of what had been stripped away restored.
The power of who God is can be summed up in verse 4 – “Our Redeemer, the Lord Almighty is His name.”
He is still our Redeemer.
He is God over the past, present and future. He knows all things and uses all things from our past and even our present as He leads us toward the future He has. If we find ourselves in the throes of hardship and difficulty – He is Lord of the past, present and future. If we wrestle this day with turmoil and unexpected twists life has thrown – He is Lord of the past, present and future. If we are so inundated and crippled from our past mistakes and sins – He is the Lord of the past, present and future.
He is our Redeemer and the Lord Almighty is His name. Rest in this.
Isaiah 47 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
You were secure in your wickedness; you said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray. You said to yourself, ‘I exist, and there is no one else.’Isaiah 47:10 HCSB
Over the years the church has come under attack from all sorts of false teachings. Mysticism, new age, prosperity, and much more have mixed their beliefs with Christianity. Here, in verse 10, God is calling out the false wisdom of scorcery and spells which was common to pagan religions of that time. It’s interesting that He uses the word wisdom since it is really not wise at all. Many times those who profess a higher knowledge are led astray by their pride. This is precisely the source as we read it in the next sentence.
I exist and there is no on else. What a proud statement. It’s far too easy to sit back in our cozy Christian environment and point the finger at others. But how many times have we done this? Sure, maybe we don’t actually say that, but we do things all the time without any fear that God is watching our every move. We say, in our hearts, “No one sees me.” If we didn’t, then our behavior would change.
I’m personally convicted of this because I know I justify certain behaviors with this kind of attitude. “If no one saw it, then I’m OK.” This kind of crafty wisdom does not fool God. In fact, there is a tension that hopefully builds when you think on these things because the Holy Spirit does not approve. We aren’t perfect, and never will be, but we must strive for holiness. A great way to start is to be aware of the fact that God is with us and watching over us.