Passage: Isaiah 14
Mercy on Jacob
1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.
2 Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
Fall of the King of Babylon
3 It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve,
4 that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say:
“ How the oppressor has ceased,
The golden city ceased!
5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
The scepter of the rulers;
6 He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
He who ruled the nations in anger,
Is persecuted and no one hinders.
7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
They break forth into singing.
8 Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you,
And the cedars of Lebanon,
Saying, ‘Since you were cut down,
No woodsman has come up against us.’
9 “Hell from beneath is excited about you,
To meet you at your coming;
It stirs up the dead for you,
All the chief ones of the earth;
It has raised up from their thrones
All the kings of the nations.
10 They all shall speak and say to you:
‘Have you also become as weak as we?
Have you become like us?
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
And the sound of your stringed instruments;
The maggot is spread under you,
And worms cover you.’
The Fall of Lucifer
12 “ How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
18 “All the kings of the nations,
All of them, sleep in glory,
Everyone in his own house;
19 But you are cast out of your grave
Like an abominable branch,
Like the garment of those who are slain,
Thrust through with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit,
Like a corpse trodden underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with them in burial,
Because you have destroyed your land
And slain your people.
The brood of evildoers shall never be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children
Because of the iniquity of their fathers,
Lest they rise up and possess the land,
And fill the face of the world with cities.”
22 “For I will rise up against them,” says the LORD of hosts,
“And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant,
And offspring and posterity,” says the LORD.
23 “I will also make it a possession for the porcupine,
And marshes of muddy water;
I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” says the LORD of hosts.
Journal: God's judgment against Judah is not without hope, and the first two verses of this chapter point to a coming restoration. Yet, before the promised restoration is promised discipline, and this discipline from God will be through Babylon. Yet, Babylon is no innocent instrument in God's hand, and will face a judgment of its own, a judgment against its pride and arrogance.
Verses 3-11 point to the fall of Babylon. The cruelty of Babylon will lead to rejoicing at its fall. ("The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. Indeed the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were cut down, no woodsman has come up against us.’") The pride of Babylon was on display, and the fall of Babylon proclaims that God alone is to be exalted. In fact, verses 12-21 compare this pride to the pride of Lucifer. ("For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’") Babylon is a nation chasing after its spiritual father, and the journey will lead to the depths of Hell. ("Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.")
The final two verses of Isaiah 14 (14:22-23) deal with the rod of correction against Babylon, with the backdrop of the rod of correction against Satan, who lurks in Babylon's mirror and reflection. It is a sentence of destruction as Persia will conquer Babylon and conquest, and as Christ will conquer Satan and sin. When all is said and done, it will be God that has separated humility from pride; a separation of the sheep (His children) from the goats (Satan's children).