May 24, 2021
"Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this, utter it to the end of the earth..."
“Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this, utter it to the end of the earth; say ‘The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!’ And they do not thirst when He led them through the deserts: He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them; He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out. ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’” Isaiah 48:20–22
After having pronounced judgment upon Babylon for their pride and idolatry, the Lord turns back toward Israel with a message of hope and redemption. He informed Israel that His rebuke (at the hand of Babylon) was not intended to destroy Israel completely, only to refine her through adversity, as silver through a fire.
God’s intention is always to purge sin from His people. He prefers that we willingly release our sin, but He is not above letting His name (and namesake) be tarnished temporarily in order to drive sin from His own children. It reminds me of the parent who is not afraid to reprimand their child in public if the situation requires it. Ultimately any questions about parenting styles will be vindicated by the testimony of kids raised rightly! The call for Israel to flee Babylon is echoed in the New Testament book of Revelation. “Babylon” henceforth becomes a biblical metaphor for spiritual adultery and worldly harlotry among God’s people.
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1–4
Notice how the Lord reminds Israel of His provision of water throughout desert periods. It also reminds us of how Jesus promised “living water” to the Samaritan woman at the well. Also, consider Paul’s words to the church in Corinth:
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Messiah.” 1 Corinthians 10:1–4
Finally, compare the Lord’s declaration of “no rest for the wicked” with King David’s exhortation in Psalm 1:
“How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” Psalm 1:1–2