「The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,」‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Today, it is the 4th message from the book of Isaiah of the Old Testament. As believers, we want to have a perspective on how God sees through the history and bring judgement on prideful people at the right timing. Last time, I mentioned that God brought judgment on Northern Israel, who became prideful and continued to sin. At that time, the Assyrian army was sent by God to bring judgement. It was because the Northern Israel neither seek the Lord Almighty, nor repented of their sins (9:13). That is the perspective of the Prophet. The same thing happend to Assyria. As Assyria became prideful, walked away from God, and became a violent country, God’s judgment was given to them. Isaiah prophesied that even the country like Assyria was going to be struck and destroyed by God. (10: 24,25) This principle also applied to the surrounding countries of Southern Judah. Isaiah declares judgments to other surrounding countries from Chapter 13 to 23. He prophesied not only God’s judgment but also a recommendation of repentance. (Reference; 19:22). The first sentence was given to Babylon, which is written in Isaiah 13: 1-14: 23. Today, I would like to speak from Chapter 14 and learn that the judgment on Babylon was also a prophecy of the restoration of Israel. Now, please read chapter 14 verses 1-13.

 One of the main message of the sentence to Babylon is written in verses 4-6.「..How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.」(Isaiah‬ ‭14:4-6‬ ‭NIV)‬‬
It is mentioned that Babylon was destroyed by the Lord because they were such wicked ruler, like oppressing people, behaving domineeringly, striking people down, and subduing nations with relentless aggression. Even today in the 21st century, a dictatorial regime is taking place. They deprive the people of their freedom, behave domineeringly, and persecute their opponents. Unfortunately, that is the reality of this society that there are always such domineering leaders in any eras. However, such a dictatorial nation will not last long. Both Japanese militarism and the Nazi regime came to an end. We know the consequences of those administrations. When such a dictatorial regime comes to an end, the people who were suffering from oppression will experience liberty and freedom. Such content is vividly written in Chapter 14.

Verse 1 says,「The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob.」(‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬) Furthermore, verse 3 says,「On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you,」(‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬) The day Babylon was destroyed was the day of liberation for Israel. It was also a day of relief from pain, anger and harsh labor. I understand that it is also a word spoken to Christians in the face of persecution and hardship because of their faith. God has prepared a day of liberation even for the believers. Verse 7 says,「All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.」(‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:7‬ ‭NIV)‬‬
One day, the day will come when we sing a joyful song. The day of liberation, the day of singing joy, will come to the believers who have endured the trials. It is also the faith of Isaiah and the promise of God that the Lord has prepared for us.

 In verse 9-11, it is written that King Babylon is invited to the world of the dead. The kings who were previously destroyed by King Babylon speak to him, in verse 10,「“You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.”」(‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:10‬ ‭NIV)‬‬
Furthermore, verse 16-21 explain that they were not put in the grave, and they were forgotten by the world. Verse 19 says,「But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch;」The authority of the world is not absolute. It doesn’t last forever, either. These prophecies show us the tragic ending of such dictatorial leaders.

 Verses 12-19 describe the reason why King Babylon was fallen down to the grave. It is written that he tried to push himself into the position of God with violence, pride, and absolute power. Verses 13-14 say,「You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”」
‭‭These expressions like “I will ascend to the heavens”, or “I will make myself like the Most High” show that he tried to take God’s position. As you know, human beings are only creations created by God. Someday we will stand before our Creator and receive His judgement. The history of making humans God or worshiping humans like God has been repeated so many times. Unfortunately, it is true, isn’t it? Moreover, it can be understood that this passage also shows the figure of Satan. However, Satan is not equal to God. He is also going to be destroyed by God someday. Verse 15 says,「But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.」
 Fellow believers, let us live our lives with this hope. The LORD Almighty will rise up against the wicked at His right time. (Verse 22) Not only that, God has seen the lives of people who are oppressed, and He provides a help on the right timing. He is the one who will destroy the evil and deliver us from the wicked. Let us believe in the promise of God in forgiveness of sins, deliverance, and freedom.

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