1 "Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, Daughter of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate.
2 Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams.
3 Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one."
4 Our Redeemer--the LORD Almighty is his name-- is the Holy One of Israel.
5 "Sit in silence, go into darkness, Daughter of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms.
6 I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke.
7 You said, 'I will continue forever-- the eternal queen!' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
8 "Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.'
9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, 'No one sees me.' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me.'
11 Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
12 "Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by.
15 That is all they can do for you-- these you have labored with and trafficked with since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.
A Queen No More (47:1–7)
The glory of Babylon will soon come to an end as the Holy One of Israel will bring judgment upon this proud nation. The Babylonians once served the divine purpose of being God’s instrument of discipline toward His wayward people, but Babylon will face judgment for its excessive violence and for its unmerited arrogance in thinking that they can rule over other kingdoms like an eternal queen. God will take His vengeance and strip the nation of its throne. When we see wicked nations today, we may be tempted to despair, but even nations that do not know God will be held accountable for their actions because He is sovereign and Lord over all.
- Which nation is God placing on your heart today? How can you pray for that nation and its leaders?
True Wisdom (47:8–15)
The Babylonians feel secure in their own wisdom and knowledge, thinking that they will never suffer any loss. Isaiah prophesies, however, that they will be overtaken in a single day. Babylon’s astrologers and stargazers will not be able to save them, and the Babylonians will face calamity and catastrophe for their self-centered vanity. Isaiah’s words are a sharp warning to those who think they are being self-sufficient and wise by refusing to acknowledge God. They will be held accountable for their foolish actions. As Christians, however, we are called to trust in the knowledge of God and rely on Him to guide us. May we continually seek His wisdom and encourage others to do the same.
- Are there times when it is difficult to live out your faith? Pray that you may be emboldened and led by the Holy Spirit to honor Christ in every circumstance.
A letter to God
Lord, thank you for Your grace when I struggle to trust in You. Help me to continually seek Your guidance and wisdom in my life. Remind me that You are in control and sovereign over all things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.