Destruction Of Babylon And Punishing God's People
March 3, 2003
Very few religious leaders are talking about the biblical and historical significance of the location of Iraq. For example, little mention has been made about the fact, Iraq was originally named Babylonia, and the Babylonians are historical enemies of Israel. This historical hatred started when the Babylonians defeated Israel and carried treasures and prisoners into captivity. The problem is that the Babylonians became increasingly hostile toward their Israeli captives. Therefore to fully understand the significance of this hostility, we need to look into the past, present, and future of the land that became known as Iraq.
The story begins with HaShem allowing Babylon to triumph over Israel; this was a result of the Israel’s rejection of God and his commandments. Unfortunately, Babylonians did not recognize that they were only used as an instrument of the Lord. Therefore the Babylonians tried to assume the role of God over Israel, and they became extremely brutal to the Lord's people. However, HaShem was not pleased with the Babylonian mistreatment of His people, and as a result He sent judgment to Babylon through Persia (Iran). However, the Persian king felt that the God of Israel allowed him to triumph over Babylon. Therefore under Persian captivity the Lord’s people found favor, and as a result the following proclamation was issued.
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah” (Ezra 1:2).
This time of favor for God’s people was not short lived, because after King Cyrus another king came to power that was sympathetic to Israel. For example the scripture in Nehemiah, mentions that Artaxerxes felt compassion and allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city. In fact the book of Nehemiah even chronologically dates the time of the year that Nehemiah was called to go to Jerusalem. For instance this passage mentions the month of Kislev:
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem” (Ne1: 1-2)
Prophetically a second witness establishes the significance of this month even further. For example when the temple is rededicated by the Maccabees after asyrian oppression is eliminated.
However the story does not end there, and common thread continues, which reaches this century. For example the recent decision to initiate the American troop build up against Iraq also went forth during the same time period. There are also other similarities that exist in this century. For example in the American battle plan, the first concern was to build a buffer zone between Israel and Iraq. The President also stated it would be a tragedy if Iraq would launch missiles on Israel. This is significant because, the Persian king who defeated Babylon, and the American president are also both merciful toward the Israelites.The next similarity is in the following passage:
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it” (Ne 2:1-5).
The similarity here is that king Artaxerxes approves Nehemiah’s request during the month of Nisan (Aviv). In other words, Nehemiah is allowed to return and rebuild during the month of Passover. This too has a connection to this century. Especially since the month of Nisan begins the new biblical year, and this year according to the sighted new moon Nisan (Aviv) starts the evening of April third. What is significant about this is that this time frame is within the biblical month of the deliverance of Israel. Therefore it seems interesting; that short of an unexpected event, America will be at war with, a sworn enemy of Israel during the month of Passover.
From a futuristic standpoint there is even greater significance to what is happening in Iraq. The Lord’s Prophets, guaranteed that Babylon would never be rebuilt. The primary significance here is that one of the prophecies spoken against Babylon was spoken after the Persians were no longer controlled Babylon. For example scripture states: Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.” (Rev18:10) This passage also restates the judgment of Babylon, well after the Persians are not in the picture. This future judgment that is mentioned has a high probability, of coming through America. In other words with the similarities of the current situation it is likely God is using America as an instrument to carry out His judgment.
Therefore no matter what the world opinion, no matter how people feel about a war with Iraq. The truth is that if the USA does not attack, some other nation will be used to bring the Lord's judgment to Babylon. It is interesting to note, according to scripture there will be many nations and merchants appalled at the destruction of Babylon. But the truth is, when the Lord moves the world has two options get behind Him, or get run over.