Monday, February 26, 2007

Present-Day Prophecies - Isaiah and Babylon

In discussing religion with folks, sometimes the topic comes up of whether or not any Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled today, as we speak. I believe the answer is Yes. In fact, one Old Testament prophecy comes to mind that is simply irrefutable - the prophecy of the downfall of Babylon in Isaiah.

Isaiah began his ministry around 740 BC, and he lived until sometime around 681 BC. It is disputed as to whether he composed the entirety of the book that bears his name, as certain events place the 2nd half of the book at somewhere around 560 BC, however this is irrelevant concerning the prophecy of Babylon.

The earliest mention of Babylon dates back to the 24th century BC, in an Akkadian tablet. In Isaiah's time, Babylon was one of the largest (if not the largest) cities in the world - and was possibly the first city in the world to reach a population of 200,000. To put it in our perspective, we could equate Babylon to Tokyo or Los Angeles in terms of population.

In chapter 13, Isaiah announces the following prophecy: "Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations". To me, this is a horribly bold statement. Not only will one of the largest cities in the world be destroyed, but never again in the history of the world will anyone live in it. This, put in today's perspective, would almost be equivalent to a statement that Tokyo or Los Angeles would soon not only be destroyed, but moreover never again to be inhabited.

In Isaiah's time, the most important event regarding this prophecy was Cyrus' invasion of Babylon in 539 BC. The Israelites were currently in exile and in quite despair. Cyrus freed the Israelites from bondage and allowed them to return to their home country. While he conquered Babylon, it remained an inhabitable city nonetheless. However in 330 AD, Alexander the Great completely destroyed the city, laying it to ruins. It has been uninhabited since.

In 1985, Saddam Hussein attempted to begin rebuilding the city ontop of the old ruins, inscribing the following on many of the bricks: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq"a. His project was halted with the US invasion in 2003.

Isaiah's prophecy of the fall of one of the largest cities in the world was in fact exactly fulfilled, and is one that we can actually witness today. Whether you are religiously oriented or not, this is simply fact.

aNebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in 587 BC and began the Babylonian deportation.


Anonymous said...

I, too, am attempting to figure out some things that I'm reading in the Bible. For example: Why did God give us free will so that we can make choices (because we do not want to be robots) yet, when the earth & heavens are destroyed, and those who will go on to live with Him in heaven will be back to square one (in the beginning). Won't heaven be a place where we all worship God, no evil thoughts will come to mind, it will all be for His praise & glory? Then why would He create the heavens & earth, man, free will in the first place if we will be back to the Alpha (square one) some day?

Another: If heaven is a place of purity (no unclean thoughts, words, or actions) how could Lucifer (if he was indeed an angel in heaven) ever plot to pull one over on God?

Another: In the ten commandments God states that we should have no other gods before us because HE IS A JEALOUS GOD...yet, there are passages in the Bible that states He is a jealous God...Jealousy is an unhealthy that seems very could this be?

I could go on but, I think you get my point.

You see, I beleive in God,Jesus, and I am seeking to know just how much of the "HOLY"Bible was indeed God-inspired or human-interpreted. I don't want to ever feel as though I'm going against God's word yet some of the things I read are contradicting.

Anonymous said...

Hey "anonymous said" God is NOT going to destroy the earth and heavens. Those with God will WILLINGLY worship Him.

Lucifer was given free will also.

Here God does not mean the type of jealousy that is evil. Remember the one lost sheep parable, the prodigal son? God never gives up on even one child.

God's Word does not contradict itself.