Our title says it all. The consequences of one’s actions will have to be dealt with eventually. God is sovereign and God is just. He allows us to choose our thinking and behaviors but He chooses the consequences of our behavior that hurts, robs, kills, betrays, mocks the innocent. Babylon desecrated the temple, took over the land God gave to His People and robbed them of their dignity and pride. The leaders of Babylon marched them from their homeland, stripped bare of all possessions, and exiled them to live as prisoners of war, serving them as slaves.
Since our war is not with “flesh and blood” ultimately, as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, we must realize that even in this time and place, the cruel Babylonians were driven by the inner force of God’s enemy, Satan, which is evident by all the horrific behaviors dealt to God’s chosen. God wanted to get the attention of His People but Babylon went too far. Remember God is still in control. “What goes around, come around”—the Babylonians will pay for their overachievements in evil.
All that was meant for pure evil from the Babylonians was used by God for showing all people who is still Sovereign—over all and in all. God’s original purpose was to turn His People back to Him and to all that is good, right and the best for them. His People had all but forgotten God, going about their lives without Him and His protective guidance. God chooses the consequences of that kind of living without Him.
The consequences of this lack of God in our lives leads us to believe we can do without God as we step out from under his “wings of protection.” (Psalm 91:4) When we step away from God, we risk all that God provides with protection. We become vulnerable to the evil one who wants to swoop in and destroy.
Realizing the consequences of Babylon’s fall, Isaiah experienced pain like a “woman in labor” and felt crushed like grain in a mill. Evil causes pain. Babylon will fall to the Assyrian army’s advances who are even more powerful. The betrayer is betrayed.
Isaiah 21, The Message
The Betrayer Betrayed
1-4 A Message concerning the desert at the sea:
As tempests drive through the Negev Desert,
coming out of the desert, that terror-filled place,
A hard vision is given me:
The betrayer betrayed, the plunderer plundered.
Lay siege, Media!
I’ll put an end to
all the moaning and groaning.
Because of this news I’m doubled up in pain,
writhing in pain like a woman having a baby,
Baffled by what I hear,
undone by what I see.
I had hoped for a relaxed evening,
but it has turned into a nightmare.
5 The banquet is spread,
the guests reclining in luxurious ease,
Eating and drinking, having a good time,
and then, “To arms, princes! The fight is on!”
6-9 The Master told me, “Go, post a lookout.
Have him report whatever he spots.
When he sees horses and wagons in battle formation,
lines of donkeys and columns of camels,
Tell him to keep his ear to the ground,
note every whisper, every rumor.”
Just then, the lookout shouted,
“I’m at my post, Master,
Sticking to my post day after day
and all through the night!
I watched them come,
the horses and wagons in battle formation.
I heard them call out the war news in headlines:
‘Babylon fallen! Fallen!
And all its precious god-idols
smashed to pieces on the ground.’”
10 Dear Israel, you’ve been through a lot,
you’ve been put through the mill.
The good news I get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
the God of Israel, I now pass on to you.
* * *
11-12 A Message concerning Edom:
A voice calls to me
from the Seir mountains in Edom,
“Night watchman! How long till daybreak?
How long will this night last?”
The night watchman calls back,
But for now it’s still night.
If you ask me again, I’ll give the same answer.”
* * *
13-15 A Message concerning Arabia:
You’ll have to camp out in the desert badlands,
you caravans of Dedanites.
Haul water to the thirsty,
greet fugitives with bread.
Show your desert hospitality,
you who live in Tema.
The desert’s swarming with refugees
escaping the horrors of war.
16-17 The Master told me, “Hang on. Within one year—I’ll sign a contract on it!—the arrogant brutality of Kedar, those hooligans of the desert, will be over, nothing much left of the Kedar toughs.” The God of Israel says so.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
Believe. Really believe that what God says is real. Believe Him when He says what He will do for us. Believe that God is God, the One and Only—and realize we are not God.
Believe that He is Truth in a world of people who spread the lies of the “father of lies”. This father of lies, master of manipulation, and temporary ruler of this world, and everything opposite of God battles God for our souls. Jesus described Satan as the one who fell from heaven, kicked out actually, for wanting to be God. It is this evil being that is at war with God for our souls. This betrayer of God will be betrayed and does not win in the end. Jesus is the Victor over all evil. To believe with all our hearts, minds and souls in our Victor, makes us victors!
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2;14
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39
You are God. Jesus You are the One and Only sent to save us. There is no one like You. There is no love greater than your love. Why believe anyone else but you? I don’t. I believe in You. I believe You live in me. I believe you provide all that I need and more. I believe you saved me and made me your own. And I am grateful, so eternally grateful.
In Jesus Name, Amen