A Study in the Word – Isaiah 47:1-15


Pride will lead to Babylon’s severe downfall. Rebellion against the will of God always accompanies a slide into personal and national degradation (See Daniel 5). Babylon would become a great world power and should have taken advantage of being chosen to be used of the Lord for great things of great purpose. Instead of wearing the garb of a debutante, with gown and veil, she made herself a trollop and slave (47:1-2a). She would sell herself to unholy alliances to the point that her name was that of a harlot among the nations. The Redeemer of Israel will accomplish her judgment without fail (47:4).

What is the sin of Babylon? God will grow weary of Jerusalem’s sin and consign her to the Babylonians for measured punishment. God would use Babylon to restore righteousness among His people, but she abuses power apart from responsibility, particularly in senior abuse (47:6). She assumes “forever” was hers (47:7). God reserves silence and darkness for her (47:5).

Babylon may say, “There is no one besides me” (47:8), but she has not reckoned on God’s ability to predict and then enact His will. Life will not go on as it is, and her idols cannot change that (47:9). She who “dwells securely” in evil is self-deluded (47:10). If evil turns once, it can turn again, bringing sudden disaster to her. God teaches a hard lesson to people who believe the false idea that security trumps principle (47:11).

Babylon will experience failures in two vital areas of personal and national life: faith in false gods and friendships in unholy alliances. Neither will profit her. Isaiah mocks her ideas of success and her ability to create fear (47:12). The astrology she relies on cannot compare to the saving ability of the God who warns about her future (47:13).

Ever since an aggressive Assyria arose, Babylon has sought alliances to defeat Assyria. Isaiah has warned Judah in the strongest terms to have no part in such unholy alliances. They are doomed to fail. Babylon is an example. The nations she relied upon prove too weak to help. They are spent forces with no hope of reviving (47:14). These so-called friends will take care of themselves first. Their friendship was capricious and unreliable. That leaves “none to save” Babylon (47:15). Only the Lord is Savior, and this nation must turn from false religion and false friends to find Him.

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: dm5867se@outlook.com