Isaiah 13:6-8

Isaiah 13:6-8

6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.

The title for this chapter is “A Prophecy Against Babylon” (NIV) and it is certainly fitting as the first four verses show

1 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath—those who rejoice in my triumph.
4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war.

Especially that last line: The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. Is it any wonder their hands will go limp and every heart will melt with fear in verse seven? Verse eight is very much like Jeremiah 6:24 and Psalm 48:6

We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor. (Jeremiah)

Trembling seized them there, pain like that of a woman in labor. (Psalm)

When God’s judgment finally arrives after numerous warnings there will be great terror and hearts will melt with fear as they realize they have waited too long to make things right with God. Babylon waited too long and simply went its own way and now they face God’s judgment

11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.

There was always tomorrow, but today has arrived and it is too late for Babylon. In 539BC Cyrus the Great led the armies of Media to attack Babylon fulfilling the prophecy in verse seventeen

See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.

It is not much different today, except for the salvation offered through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross paying for our sins. The offer of Grace is Free, but many will wait until tomorrow so they can do as they please today. Sadly for so very many, tomorrow will never come and they will face God’s judgment without having accepted Christ’s payment for their sins.

Jesus put it this way when speaking of the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8:10b-12

Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

No one wants to be one of those who are weeping and gnashing of teeth in great regret.