Text: Isaiah 47

If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “His Judgment of Satan/Babylon/the World System That Defies God and Those Who Worship It.” Remember that Babylon was a powerful empire. Satan has a powerful empire — today’s world system that defies the Lord. Those who worship the world system, and thereby worship Satan himself, will be judged.

In this chapter, their judgment and punishment is described in detail. I will speak in terms of the Lord’s final judgment of Satan and today’s world system that defies Him.

Verses 1-3 —

The LORD speaks to Babylon. Come and sit down in the dust — mourn — O virgin daughter (maiden, lady) of Babylon! All that you have trusted in is false, and now you see it! You have defied the living God, and now you will be judged!

Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter (nation) of the Chaldeans! Your kingdom will be destroyed, O Babylon! You shall no longer be called tender (soft) and delicate (luxurious). Your soft living, your luxury, will be taken from you. 

Instead, hard labor awaits you — grinding meal with a heavy millstone. Shave off  the hair of your head, as a sign of mourning. Bare your legs, O fugitive Babylon, even to the thigh, so you can pass over the rivers as you attempt to escape the Lord’s judgment.

The LORD says, “Your nakedness will be uncovered, your shame also will be exposed.” He will uncover all that is hidden, O Babylon, O world system that defies Him! He will rebuke and disgrace you! 

The LORD says, “I will take vengeance (inflict harm), and will not spare a man (literally, I will not come to you as a man).” He will inflict harm on you, because they inflicted harm on His people, in their captivity. 

Babylon had His permission to take them into exile, but not to abuse them. They defied Him. So, He will not come against Babylon as a man, but as the LORD, for He is God alone! 

The world system defies the Lord by mocking, persecuting and murdering those who believe into Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jesus Christ will come and judge them —

Revelation 19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Satan, whose kingdom is the world system, defied the living God, because he believed he was higher, wiser and mightier than God —

Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!

13 “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.”

The world system, and those who worship it, think they are higher, wiser, and mightier than God. They mock and persecute and imprison and murder those who love and obey the Lord.

At the Lord’s hand, Satan fell from heaven. Satan now sits on an earthly throne, for the time being, as ruler of the world system and those who worship it. But he and his earthly kingdom will end. He will be dethroned and cast into the lake of fire at end of things, as will the world system and all those who worship it —

Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life (because they have refused Jesus Christ), he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Verse 4 —

Isaiah pauses here to say what His people will say, when they see His judgment of Babylon — 

“As for our redeemer (Deliverer, Avenger), the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.” (KJV)

It is the LORD of hosts, Jesus Christ who will deliver His repentant people from Babylon. And at the end of things, He will judge the world system that defies Him and His Father and abuses those who believe into Him and obey Him.

Revelation 19:11   And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Revelation 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Verse 5 —

As for Babylon and the world system that defies Him, the LORD says, “Sit silently and go into darkness (destruction), O daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms.”

When the LORD judged Babylon, the Chaldeans were enslaved by the Medo-Persians. Babylon was never again a nation, even to this day. 

In the same way, Satan himself, and the world system and those who worship it, will be judged by the LORD and sentenced to eternal perishing, in the lake of fire. Satan and his kingdom will be destroyed forever!

He does not desire any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Peter writes this to the straying church!

 But even when Jesus Christ returns to judge the world system and those who worship it, there will be some who continue to defy Him by refusing to repent.

Verses 6-7 —

The LORD recounts Babylon’s sin against His people, saying, “I was angry (enraged) with My people, I profaned (defiled) My heritage (My people who were to be My heirs).” 

He was enraged because His people defied Him, worshiping false gods. So, He used Babylon to defile and trample down His people, by sending them into exile in a pagan nation.

But Babylon abused His people mercilessly.  Even those weakened by age carried a yoke of slavery that was heavy and harsh beyond measure.

Babylon went far beyond the punishment He desired for His rebellious people. It did not surprise Him. He knew Babylon would do it, because He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). 

And Babylon boasted — like Satan, and the world system He rules, and its worshipers! They said, “I will be a queen forever!” I will reign forever! No one can defeat me! 

But they did not consider the outcome of their words and actions. They were unwise. They did not contemplate their future punishment for their defiance. It is the same today, for Satan and his kingdom, the world system that defies God.

As I have been teaching you, the root of all false gods is the god of self, which even today is worshiped in the hearts of believers, because of their sin nature. They sit on the throne of their own hearts. Thus, they are exiled from His presence, and are continually being sifted like wheat, by Satan 

Luke 22:31   “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Beloved, I come to tell you how He will strengthen you now! He will crucify the sin nature in you, and make you a partaker of His divine nature! He will fill you with His Holy Spirit!

The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit will permanently and fully indwell you (John 14:23)! Then you will gladly be a servant of the Father and the Son and will no longer foolishly believe that you should rule yourself, and that God does not mind if you lust as the world lusts. Hear God’s promises, from Peter 

2Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Verse 8 —

The LORD says, “Now hear this, you sensual one (living in luxury and sensual pleasure), who dwells securely, who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me. I will not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children.’”

Babylon thinks it cannot be conquered. It is secure, it is its own god. It immerses itself in sensual pleasures. It says, I am my own god, and there is no other god but me. So, I will never be made a widow because of war, and my children will never be destroyed.

Satan says the same. The worshipers of the world system that defies God say the same. Believers in whom the god of self rules say the same!

Verse 9 —

They think they are their own god. They think they cannot be conquered. But hear what the LORD says (I am putting the Hebrew-to-English in parantheses) — 

“But these two things will come on you suddenly, in one day; loss of children, and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure, (because of) your many sorceries, (because of) the great (abundance) of your spells.” 

Babylon, and Satan, and all who worship the god of self, think they have power. They think they can manipulate and defeat the LORD by using witchcraft. But witchcraft is powerless against the LORD and those who love and obey Him! 

All that such ones rely upon and trust in will fail, for they rely upon evil to defeat the LORD. They will be defeated, they will have no offspring — no means of reproducing.

All this will happen in one day. As I have taught you, Babylon was defeated by the Medo-Persian army in one night, per Daniel 5:30.

Verse 10 —

The LORD continues to tell Babylon, Satan and the worshipers of the world system that which they have not considered. He says, “You felt secure in your wickedness, and said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no other.”

The god of self ruled in the hearts of the Babylonians. It rules in Satan. It rules in the hearts of those who worship the world system. And it rules in the hearts of believers, until their sin nature is crucified. 

You who worship the god of self feel secure in your wickedness, your wretchedness that you do not see. To the church at Laodicea, which felt secure in its love of the world and the things of the world, Jesus says —

Revelation 3:17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked . . .”

They were deluded about their spiritual condition. In Revelation 3:18-19, He advised them to repent and be purified! 

In the same way, the LORD says of Babylon’s wisdom and knowledge, “They have deluded you, for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no other.”

Satan’s wisdom and knowledge, the world system’s wisdom and knowledge, the church at Laodicea’s wisdom are a delusion. By relying on this delusion, Babylon, Satan and the world system and its worshipers deceive themselves!

Verse 11 — 

Therefore, the LORD says to the deluded ones, “But evil (calamity) will come upon you which you will not know how to charm away (literally, you will not know where it arises from) ; and disaster (ruin) will fall on you for which you cannot atone (for which there is no pardon); and destruction about which you do not know will come on you suddenly.

They think they know! They think they are wise! But they do not know! He will send calamity, and they will not know from where it arises. He will send ruin, but they will have no means to be pardoned so it will not come upon them. They will not know about the destruction that will come upon them. All the worldly wisdom and knowledge upon which they have relied will fail them.

Verses 12-13 

The LORD says, “Stand fast now in your spells, and in your many sorceries with which you have labored from your youth. Perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you may cause trembling (cause dread). You are wearied with your many counsels. Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you.”

In Babylon, the intellectual and the magical were intertwined, the wise man being instructed in all the arts of the supernatural (per The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). The LORD knows they will rely upon their witchcraft. He says, “Perhaps,” to mock them, because such things will not profit them, and such things have no power, and such things do not make Him tremble.

The Babylonians and the world system that defies God, and those who worship the world system are faint from seeking worldly wisdom and advice. Their astrologers prophesy nonsense. None of these things can save them from what will come upon them, at the hands of the LORD.

O church, I see many of you who rely on astrology, who go to fortune tellers to tell them about their future. And there are fortune tellers in the pulpits and on the platforms in the church, and in the conference rooms! 

These fortune tellers in pulpits and on platforms perform witchcraft to counsel you, and prophesy nonsense, telling you the Lord wants to make you make you rich and wealthy and in need of nothing! They tell you that what the Lord formerly called sin is no longer sin. 

But you are separated from the Lord by your sin! You are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked! Repent and be purified, says Jesus Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit, and you will no longer be deluded!

Verse 14 —

The LORD says, “Behold! They (the astrologers) have become like stubble (He mows them down), fire burns them (they are judged and sentenced to hell); they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; there will be no coal to warm by, nor a fire to sit before!”

The witches and astrologers cannot deliver themselves from their sentence. They have chosen it. There will be no comfort in the hell to which they will be sentenced by the LORD. It is the same today, O churchgoer! Repent!

Verse 15 —

The LORD says it will be the same for those who have followed witchcraft, who have followed astrology. Each has wandered in his own way. They have chosen to follow nonsense instead of the Lord. There is none to save them. 

O church, may you see it! You have no discernment to understand that your end will be the same as Satan’s end, and the same as the world system’s end, and the same as the end of all who prophesy nonsense and practice witchcraft in today’s church! Turn back to the Lord, while it is still today! 

Lord Jesus, may Your church see herself and be horrified, repent, and turn back to You. Let it be so, I pray. Amen.