The Prophecies Of Isaiah
When Isaiah gave the warning not to turn for Babylon for help, Babylon looked to be a major world player fully capable of taking on Assyria and had proven to be a worthy foe of Assyria so far. We can see the logic of the people of Judah in thinking this might be their best ally against a common enemy. But Isaiah wants them to know that Babylon will fare no better against Assyria than Egypt or Cush, at least not in the near future. In our study of the kings we learned that the Lord promised King Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, that Jerusalem would not fall to Sennacherib. In the book of Isaiah we will revisit that event shortly. Time and again Isaiah has to remind the people of Judah that her help is in the Lord, not in the nations around her. The Lord brought Israel out of Egypt and gave her the Promised Land. The Lord made a great kingdom out of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Lord is who King David trusted in for victory; shouldn't the nation continue to trust? The God who helped David to victory time and again is still the same God. When we studied the life of David we noted that he was almost always outnumbered in battle but because the Lord fought with him, the enemy always fell. We can never be outnumbered if our God is with us, and that's the message Isaiah is trying to communicate to his people. If God is for them, who can be against them?
Today we looked at a prediction for the destruction of Babylon by Assyria in the near future, but tomorrow we will look at a prediction for a farther-off destruction by the Medo-Persian Empire, along with a very far-off prediction about its destruction in the end times. Babylon in the Scriptures has always been symbolic of rebellion. It rebelled against all authority: both God's and man's. This is why it was foolish for Judah to put her trust in that nation for help against her enemy. Babylon herself was an enemy of God's and why should Judah turn to a pagan nation for help when she had access to Almighty God? Isaiah is encouraging the people to return to her roots and to the God who made them into a nation in the first place. God is her Helper, not a nation that bows the knee to false idols. God is her Defender and Redeemer, not a nation that was the birthplace of man's first rebellion against the Creator. David was fond of saying in the psalms, "Vain is the help of man," and this doesn't mean he didn't value his godly friendships, but it meant that he always knew, at all times, that his real help came from the Lord. We have precious Christian friends who encourage and support us in our trials, but they are human like us, and our real help from our spiritual enemy comes from the Lord. He brings the victory even when it looks like we are outnumbered. He brings the victory even when defeat seems imminent. If God is for us, who can be against us? If we hold tightly to His hand as a child holds the hand of the father he trusts, what can man do to us? We can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil, because our God is with us.