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June 15: Isaiah 47 & Revelation 17
Deuteronomy 20; Psalm 107; Isaiah 47; Revelation 17
Babylon - before its fall under Cyrus - embodies pride in pleasure. Throughout the 40’s of Isaiah, God has said over and over again “I am, and there is no one besides me.” Yet that’s exactly what the “daughters” of Babylon say about themselves (8). They fancy themselves as a “mistress” - a woman above all women - forever (7). Full of wickedness, loving every pleasure (8), she thinks she dwells as secure as God, made so by her sorceries and divination (10). In all this, again she says, “I am, and there is no one besides me” (10).
God hears and sees it all, and He will brook no rivals. He will disrobe them (3) and taken vengeance upon them, for how they treated His people (6). God even employs a little sarcasm: keep using your sorceries - see how that turns out for you, Babylon (12-13). Because in the end, you will wander about, dazed at your own judgment (14-15).
Another of today’s readings causes us to reflect upon the deeper meaning of Babylon and her fall. By John’s Revelation, she now symbolizes every immoral, blood-thirsty power, and one final power like it that will fall (Rev. 17:5). Like the original, this Babylon fills herself with abominations and impurities (4) and satiates her lust with the blood of the saints (6).
Thus woe to this and every “Babylon.” For they too will be “desolate and naked,” devoured and burned with fire (16). Yet another call for the saints to endure.