God Will Punish the World for Evil – Isa 13

And I will punish the world for their evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”  

Isaiah 13;11

Isaiah 13 details the destruction of Babylon, a city that was ‘the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency’ (v.19). It was a mighty city, one they were so proud of, but it was also a wicked city, and God through Isaiah prophesied it’s downfall. The destruction of the city would be so complete that the land would be desolate and not even a shepherd or an animal would dwell there. It would be only a place for wild animals (v.19-22).

The reason for such terrible judgment was their sin (v.9) and pride (v.11). God takes sin very seriously. Sin is when we pridefully rebel against Him. And as the righteous Judge He will punish all who oppose Him, unless they humbly repent and trust in Him.

The judgment on Babylon seems to reach further than just the event in Isaiah’s day, because this time of judgment is called ‘the day of the Lord’ (v.6,9) and because God says, “I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity (v.11). The day of the Lord is a phrase used about future judgment (1 Thess 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10) when God finally judges all the nations of the earth included a revived ‘Babylon’ (Rev 17:5).

What we can learn from this chapter is that:

  1. God will one day punish all sinners.
  2. Sin at it’s most basic level is prideful rebellion against God.
  3. God’s punishment on the world is a ‘burden’ (v.1), not a delight. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; He wants the wicked to repent. But if the wicked do not, He will judge. (Eze 18:32; 33:11)
  4. God’s punishment is final and complete. When time is up, there will be no escaping.
  5. Such impending judgment on the whole world, should cause us to ‘howl’ and be afraid (v.6-8). It should cause men and women to cry out for mercy and for believers like Isaiah to do all they can to warn sinners (v.1).

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