1 The oracle of seaside desert: Like storm winds passing over in the Negev, coming from a desert, from a dreadful land. 2 A hard revelation is told to me; the treacherous deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; lay siege, Media! I am putting an end to all of her comfort. 3 For this reason my insides are filled with agony; pangs have seized me, like pangs of a woman giving birth. I am bent because of what I have heard, I am distraught because of what I have seen. 4 My heart staggers; fear terrifies me; the last chance to get what I want has disturbed me. 5 Set out the table in order! Spread out the rugs. Eat! drink! Rise up, commanders; smear a shield with oil!
Isaiah describes the famous feast of Belshazzar, the events of which are recorded in Daniel 5. At the height of its opulence and pride, Babylon is struck down by the Medes and Persians. Isaiah saw it beforehand. He predicted a terrible night, which would begin with feasting, and would end with a call to prepare for battle. The commanders would leave the table and rush out to oil their shields. But oiling the shields was something that had to be done beforehand. The commanders have been caught unprepared for the battle that would end in the defeat of the empire.
Perhaps you are going from feast to feast right now. Do not think that your current comfort is evidence that the LORD approves of your life. Babylon went a long time going from table to table, never thinking that their time of comfort would come to an end. But on that fateful night, the LORD said enough is enough. He put an end to all her comfort. The attack came quickly and decisively, and before dawn, the great Babylonian empire was no more.
LORD, may our lives be lived for you, and your kingdom, not merely for our own enjoyment. Give us the wisdom to trust and serve Christ so that we have no fear of his coming judgment.