by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Isaiah's God is the Holy One of Israel. In God's presence we have to be morally clean. God has chosen his Servant, who will rule in righteousness in a kingdom of peace.
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God (Isa. 13:19).
The ancient city of Babylonia, now in Iraq, is the site of the oldest civilization in the world. The earliest mention in the Bible (Gen. 10:10) puts Babylon in the realm of Nimrod, "the mighty hunter before the Lord." The second mention is in the story of the Tower of Babel. "Babel" meant "gate of God" to the Babylonians, but the Bible writers call it "confusion," because there people could no longer understand each other.
Throughout the Bible, Babylon is the symbol for human power that is anti-God. God destroyed ancient Babylon because of its arrogance, as Isaiah and Jeremiah had predicted. In the book of Revelation (ch. 18), however, the fall of Babylon stands for God's final judgment on all human pride that thinks it can climb into the throne of God.
From the earliest times until today, church teachers insist that "pride" heads the list of the seven deadly sins. (The other six are lust, envy, anger, covetousness, gluttony, sloth.) The pride that the Bible and the church condemn has nothing to do with healthy self-respect, of course. Rather it is the original sin of the devil himself. It's the refusal to acknowledge the sovereign God who sets the rules for all creatures.
Pride is destructive. It destroyed Nebuchadnezzar and Hitler with their empires. And it's deadly for every individual who thinks that he or she can set the goals and laws for living as if there is no God.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version