Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Babylon's Purpose

"Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory." (Isaiah 46:8-13)

Israel and all of mankind is challenged to consider the vanity of idolatry. Any man of intelligence can see the folly of idol worship. Through His conquest of the Babylonian Empire, God would demonstrate that there is none like Him. Marduk, Nebo and the remainder of Babylon's idols would fall. Through the declaration of such things long before they took place, the Lord declared to His people the end from the beginning. When Israel's liberation under Cyrus took place, the people would know that God is God alone.

The icon of the Persian standard was a golden eagle. This ravenous bird symbolizes Cyrus and his kingdom. From the eastern country of Media-Persia, God would bring Babylon's conqueror; but in Israel would be found the salvation of God. The Lord declares the state of every man. Each is far from righteousness. One does not have to be an idolater to be in this condition; he simply has to be outside of God's merit. On the other hand, God's righteousness brings deliverance. Through the Person of Christ, God has brought it near to mankind. Israel tasted of God's righteousness when the Jews were delivered from Babylon's captivity; and someday each Israelite will personally partake of Christ's righteousness in the millennial kingdom.

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