Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am doing something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour . . . (Hab. 1: 5-7).

Imagine that! God – raising up the Babylonians! As if things weren’t bad enough within the country so that the ordinary people were being harassed and oppressed by their own overlords, now God tells the prophet that He is raising up oppressors who would be even worse than those within the country.

He proceeded to describe the Babylonians to Habakkuk, as though the prophet were not already fully aware of how cruel, ruthless and greedy the new threat was. And God said He was doing it?

Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour; they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand (Hab. 1:8-9).

Invincible and unstoppable! It’s as though Habakkuk could see this horde in his imagination – like wild animals preying on the weak and helpless, swooping down, snatching and devouring at will. The Babylonians was hungry for power and greedy for the plunder they could seize after each victory, enriching themselves on the possessions of their conquests.

Their army was well trained and well equipped. They had the most modern of the war machinery of their day and they used every piece with skill and accuracy. They had the best horses and horsemen and, most of all, there were no rules as far as the enemy was concerned. Whom they did not kill they enslaved and took captive to Babylon.

They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on – guilty people whose own strength is their god (Hab. 1: 10-11).

This nation had no respect for authority and were unhindered by the puny efforts of their targets to defend themselves. They wanted what they wanted and they stopped at nothing to get it.

“Babylon” stood for everything greedy, immoral, vicious and ungodly in the ancient world. Babylon stands for the anti-Christ system that still operates in the world today. Babylon is the counterfeit bride of Revelation, the scarlet woman who masquerades as the “bride of Christ” – the false church that is in bed with the world system and embraces the same ambitions as the Babylonian Empire which God was raising up in Habakkuk’s day, greed for wealth and power. Babylon is the ruler within the hearts of those who repudiate God’s rule in their hearts.

Just imagine how horrified Habakkuk must have been at this astonishing disclosure! He must surely have anticipated a comforting revelation from God. “Don’t worry, Habakkuk. I’ll take care of everything. I’ll make it all right so that you can settle down to a comfortable and peaceful life together with your own people.” But it just does not work that way.

There is a Babylonian “invasion” in every nation and every life. It does not matter to which country we belong. The human race is rotten to the core and wickedness prevails everywhere. There is no escaping it, but God’s solution is by raising up the Babylonians. How else can He bring His people back to Himself? God works, not by forcing His standards on people from without but by causing people to think and make choices from within by tasting the consequences of rejecting Him.

He gives us what we want so that we can understand the outcome of our choices. The Israelites chose to worship idols, so He gave them what idolatry offered – death to many through war and captivity to the rest in a land where people lived like the idols they worshipped. This was the only way to teach His people where their idolatry was taking them – down the pathway to destruction.

What are the “Babylonians” in your life – those people who oppress you and whom you fear and hate, and those circumstances which you cannot change? God put them there, believe it or not, for a reason, not to destroy you but to awaken you to the consequences of worshipping and relying on any substitute for God. Allegiance to anyone or anything less that God will lead you to captivity and destruction.

Your “Babylonians” are a wake-up call from the Lord. He wants to rescue you, not destroy you, although His ways seem harsh. His goal is for your good. Like Jeremiah, He calls you to submit to His “Babylonians” because He has a restoration plan for you and it is good, but He must purge your heart of idols first before He can reign within you without a rival.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Luella Campbell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>