1“Get down! Sit in the dirt, virgin daughter Babylon! Sit on the ground, not on your throne, O daughter of the Babylonians! because you will no longer be called delicate and sensitive. 2 Pick up millstones and grind flour! Remove your veil, strip off your skirt, expose your legs, cross the streams! 3 Let your private parts be exposed! Your genitals will be on display! I will get revenge; I will not have pity on anyone,” 4 says our protector– Yahveh who leads armies is his name, the sovereign king of Israel. 5 “Sit still! Go to a hiding place, O daughter of the Babylonians! Indeed, you will no longer be called ‘Queen of kingdoms.’ 6 I was angry at my people; I defiled my special possession and handed them over to you. You showed them no mercy; you even placed a very heavy burden on the old people. 7 You boasted, ‘I will rule forever as permanent queen!’ You did not think about these things; you did not consider how it would turn out. 8 So now, listen to this, you who live so lavishly, who lives securely, who says to herself, ‘I am unique! No one is like me! I will never have to live as a widow; I will never lose my children.’ 9 Both of these will come upon you suddenly, in one day! You will lose your children and be widowed. You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies, despite your many incantations and your numerous amulets. 10 You were complacent in your evil deeds; you thought, ‘No one sees me.’ Your self-professed wisdom and knowledge lead you astray, when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’ 11 Disaster will come upon you; you will not know how to charm it away. Destruction will fall on you; you will not be able to prevent it. Calamity will come upon you suddenly, before you recognize it. 12 Persist in trusting your amulets and your many spells, which you have faithfully recited since your youth! Maybe you will be successful– maybe you will scare away disaster. 13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice. Let them take their stand– the ones who see omens in the sky, who gaze at the stars, who make monthly predictions– let them rescue you from the disaster that is coming upon you! 14 Look, they are like straw, which the fire burns up; they cannot rescue themselves from the heat of the flames. There are no coals to warm them, no firelight to enjoy. 15 They will disappoint you, those you have so faithfully utilized since your youth. Each strays off in his own direction, leaving no one to rescue you.”
lies the world tells itself
Babylon was the epitome of domination by an invincible foe. So much so, that when John described the dominating power of evil, he saw it as the city, Babylon the great. This generation has seen that great city dominate through both religious and political influence. The lies that a dominating power tells itself are revealed in this chapter of Isaiah.
- “I am special – the queen of kingdoms.”
- “No one can judge me.”
- “I am insured – there is no problem I cannot fix.”
- “I’ve got an answer for everything.”
Nations come and go, but within each society this prideful consistent behaviour reveals itself. Meanwhile, God is watching.
LORD, forgive us for falling for the deception. Show us how to live with integrity, without falling for pride of self or pride of society.
 Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2,10,21.