July 4 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 13-15 and Psalms 4
Please re-read the following passage from Isaiah Chapter 14:4-17;“You will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: 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. All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing. Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, ‘Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down.’ The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you – all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones – all those who were kings over the nations. They will all respond, they will say to you, ‘You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.’ All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”
Much of the prophecy in the Old Testament has double meaning. Here, in this passage, the Babylonian Kingdom is about to be disassembled by God. This “Kingdom of Babylon” and it’s king are also very symbolic of a spiritual kingdom of darkness – and the Prince of the Darkness – the Evil One himself. This becomes very evident in these verses as Isaiah begins to describe the Devil. He was once in heaven and was beautiful – he was cast down to the earth – and he had boasted; “I will be like the Most High” – he shook the earth – and he would not let his captives go home (death).
It would do you and I a lot of good if we were to highlight all the Old Testament prophecies that are repeated in the book of Revelation. It has been said that the whole book of Revelation can be found in Old Testament Scripture. Many scholars believe this to be true though I have not personally tried to prove it. This line of thinking would certainly help all of those thousands of people who are so perplexed by the book of Revelation. The great news of course is that the Devil has indeed been judged and will be destroyed in the near future when there will be a New Earth – where even the lands and trees will break into singing at the reign of Jesus Christ.
1. Give a historical example of spiritual powers at work behind the scenes as worldly powers made evil decisions.
2. Give an example from the book of Revelations where Old Testament Scripture is repeated.