Isaiah 13:20 – Babylon Never Again Inhabited

Gary W. Ritter

(Isaiah 13-15; Galatians 6)

What is the eschatological secret of Babylon?  Many have tried to understand this over the years.  I confess that I am one of them.  There are two primary narratives as to what is end-times Babylon.  What is most popular?  Which account makes the most sense – at least to me?

Babylon has a long and storied history.  It is the physical location of dark spiritual ambitions that have spread like ever-increasing waves across the face of the planet.  Babylon’s anti-God fervor is legendary.  The city and region are famous for the Plains of Shinar, where Nimrod led the effort to build the Tower of Babel.  Dark magic arts from its deeply demonic roots have swept over mankind and bewitched many.  It has been the locus of evil since time immemorial.

In New Testament times, Babylon was used as a code word for Rome.  When the apostles wrote letters referring to Rome, they often used the term Babylon to throw off any authorities that might get their hands on the epistles and cause harm to the community of Roman believers.

One focus of the final book of the Bible is on the fate of Babylon described in Revelation 17-18.  Here we encounter two aspects of the city: religious and commercial.  Many Bible prophecy teachers agree that religious Babylon is Rome, or more specifically, the Vatican.  There is enough evidence to convincingly suggest that the Harlot riding the Beast in Revelation 17 is the Roman Catholic Church, which is also prophetically seen symbolically as the Church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29.

The dispute arises as to the identity of commercial Babylon.  Is it also Rome?  I believe this is the most popular view.  Or is it the literal, historical Babylon in modern day Iraq?  I think part of the problem in accurately identifying its eschatological location has to do with the description given in Revelation 17:5 (KJV):

And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

There is a mystery associated with Babylon.  I personally believe part of the mystery is wrapped up in its identity as both a commercial and religious center.  It is The Mother Of Harlots.  It is also associated with the Abominations Of The Earth.  Are they one and the same, or different?

Revelation 17 seems to be clear as to the destruction of the Harlot world religion by the Ten Kings.  A good case can be made that they ravish and destroy the Catholic Church as a religion along with the physical Vatican.  Surely this institution has wielded great dominion over the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18).  Dave Hunt in A Woman Rides the Beast (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1565071999) thoroughly outlines this fact.

Revelation 18 pictures the coming apocalypse upon Babylon.  The following verses give an illustration of this:

v2: And he called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!

    She has become a dwelling place for demons,

a haunt for every unclean spirit,

    a haunt for every unclean bird,

    a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.

v8: For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,

    death and mourning and famine,

and she will be burned up with fire;

    for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

v10: They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,

    you mighty city, Babylon!

For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

v17: “For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.” … 

The question remains: Is it Rome or actual Babylon to which these refer?

There are good and cogent arguments for the location of religious Babylon to be Rome.  However, I look at the Old Testament prophecies – oracles concerning Babylon and God’s judgment – and I come to a different conclusion.  One of the main issues I see is that the ancient site has never been destroyed as God declares it will.

Let’s look at several of these prophecies.  In Isaiah 13, I think we see a then and future oracle.  It appears to me that the prophecy is declaring both destruction of Babylon during that OT period, but also looks forward to the Tribulation.  The different timeframes are interwoven because Isaiah, as with most prophets, didn’t/couldn’t differentiate when exactly one portion or another of their prophetic Word would occur.  For instance, Isaiah 17:17 speaks of God stirring up the Medes.  In fact, it was the Mede and Persian empires that succeeded Babylon as a world power.  However, Isaiah 13:9-16 seems like a description that fits the awful seven years of the Tribulation.  Immediately following the reference to Babylon in Isaiah’s time, the prophecy appears to revert to end-times, as we see in Isaiah 13:20-22:

It will never be inhabited

    or lived in for all generations;

no Arab will pitch his tent there;

    no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.

But wild animals will lie down there,

    and their houses will be full of howling creatures;

there ostriches will dwell,

    and there wild goats will dance.

Hyenas will cry in its towers,

    and jackals in the pleasant palaces;

its time is close at hand

    and its days will not be prolonged.

I think we can safely say this has never yet happened.  There has been activity there for years since Saddam Hussein wanted to rebuild the area to his glory.  Interestingly, the last time I looked on Google Earth, the location of Babylon was blurred out.  Why?  I have no idea.  As some Bible prophecy teachers suspect, is this the future HQ of Antichrist, perhaps in the form of a relocated United Nations?  Again – I don’t know, but it’s not something I would discount.

In Isaiah 21:9 the prophet states what is echoed in Revelation 18:2 quoted above:

And behold, here come riders,

    horsemen in pairs!”

And he answered,

    “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;

and all the carved images of her gods

    he has shattered to the ground.”

Here is a key verse in Isaiah 47:11:

But evil shall come upon you,

    which you will not know how to charm away;

disaster shall fall upon you,

    for which you will not be able to atone;

and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,

    of which you know nothing.

Isaiah is not alone in foretelling Babylon’s fall.  Note Jeremiah 50:12-13:

… Behold, she shall be the last of the nations,

    a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited

    but shall be an utter desolation;

everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled,

    and hiss because of all her wounds.

Jeremiah 50:40 states:

As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.

And Jeremiah 51:26:

No stone shall be taken from you for a corner

    and no stone for a foundation,

but you shall be a perpetual waste,

    declares the Lord.

A final one (although there are more) from Jeremiah 51:64:

… ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’

As you can see, there is quite an extensive litany of foretellings regarding Babylon’s demise.  From what I can see, none of them have a symbolic reference that could lead one to think they refer to Rome rather than the actual city of Babylon.

The one argument I could possibly concede from those who believe Rome is in view in the Tribulation is Revelation 18:24:

And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,

    and of all who have been slain on earth.”

As Bill Salus (whose prophetic insights I love) points out (The Next Prophecies, pg. 206), this implies that Babylon – whichever location – had to be responsible for the death of two or more of God’s prophets or apostles.  That would seem to mean that only Rome fits the bill.  It certainly rules out New York City or Mecca, as some believe.  My take on that is to refer to the fact that we’re dealing with an unrevealed mystery.  Were these men of God killed in the city of Rome (certainly some were), or could the mystery of Babylon refer to the demonic system arising out of its dark depths that has surely killed many more prophets and apostles?

If you’ve ever wondered what Bible prophecy teachers discuss and contend about, this is an inside peek at one of those issues.

Perhaps in the days ahead that we spend with the Lord following the Rapture, we’ll learn the truth of the matter.  One of the things that’s important to keep in mind is that it’s unlikely whether any single one of us will be completely right in our eschatological interpretations.  Only God knows the end from the beginning and the final resolution of these matters.

That should keep us humble.


[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season.  Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005.  I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline!  Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments.  I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that.  In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose.  In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.  Earlier this year Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens.  He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021.  Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform.  That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.  This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD.  Each day this year Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year.  The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read.  You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page:  https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390.  You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.

Isaiah 10:5 – The Rod of His Anger

Gary W. Ritter

(Isaiah 10-12; Galatians 5)

God sometimes uses the unjust to punish those He loves because they, too, have been unjust.

A statement like this may not go down well with many in today’s modern church.  Surely, if God loves us, He wouldn’t allow others who hate Him to harm His elect!  How could that be?  Our God is a God of love who only brings good things into our lives despite our failures.  It must be that when bad things happen, they are the work of Satan outside the will of God.

If this is what you believe, you may want to read a little deeper into your Bible in the Old Testament to see how the Lord dealt with His unruly, unfaithful, ungodly people Israel.  Isaiah shows us this truth.  When those who are supposed to be righteous and following God’s decrees are deliberately sinful by elevating their own desires above those of God’s, and when they lift up other gods in His place, they will be punished.  Not only that, but Yahweh will use other people who have no use for Him as His vessels of righteousness.

As He so often had to do, God rebuked Israel for her selfish ways that disregarded His just commands.  Israel denied justice to the needy; she robbed the poor; her widows were abused; and orphans of the land were used (Isaiah 10:1-2).  God saw it all and was displeased.  This is how the prophet stated God’s displeasure of Israel in Isaiah 10:3-4:

What will you do on the day of punishment,

    in the ruin that will come from afar?

To whom will you flee for help,

    and where will you leave your wealth?

Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners

    or fall among the slain.

For all this his anger has not turned away,

    and his hand is stretched out still.

It was God who would bring punishment to His people.  He would do so through an enemy that would come from a great distance.  In the execution of His just reward upon those who were supposed to love and obey Him, He would subsequently exact revenge upon the very enemy that was the instrument of His chastisement.

In this case, what was the nation God used to act as His right hand of wrath?  We see the answer in Isaiah 10:5-6:

Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger;

    the staff in their hands is my fury!

Against a godless nation I send him,

    and against the people of my wrath I command him,

to take spoil and seize plunder,

    and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

The godless nation was Israel.  God would use Assyria to bring great destruction upon her because she had been so unfaithful.

But look at Isaiah’s next Word as to Assyria’s fate in Isaiah 10:12:

When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.

Assyria was a ruthless, godless nation.  Does that matter?  How can an idolatrous nation that follows other gods do what the Lord requires?  Proverbs 21:1 gives us that answer:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;

    he turns it wherever he will.

How mighty is the Lord!  The king of Assyria would do as God required.  Can anyone resist His will?  Not one, despite his hatred and disregard for his creator.

We know that after Assyria – the most feared and ruthless peoples on the face of the earth – overran the Northern Kingdom of Israel that this nation eventually fell to one greater.  Babylon succeeded Assyria to then also be used by God to bring utter destruction to the wayward Jews of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Despite God’s rebuke and severe punishment of Israel, He always left a remnant through which He would bring about His purposes.  As Isaiah 10:21-23 states:

A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

Notice how it’s phrased that this annihilation is righteous.  When God decrees something, it flows from His love and mercy, even something as grievous to us in the flesh as utter devastation.

The ultimate result for God’s Chosen People in His Promised Land is outlined in Isaiah 11, which is an amazing description of what the world will look like in the 1,000 years of Christ’s Millennial Reign.

All that God does or allows has purpose.  Can Satan act outside His permission? Absolutely not!

All around us today we see the workings of dark and devious forces.  They are utterly demonic and appear to be sweeping us away into a lawless, chaotic, and grievous existence.  But they are not operating independently of God’s plans and purposes.  Just like we see in Job 1-2, Satan must ask Yahweh for permission to do anything.  Whether harm or restraint, the enemy cannot accomplish his evil desires unless God decrees.

Why would the Lord allow such awful destruction to come upon the world as we’re currently seeing?  Why would He provide the means for those who hate Him, such as Marxists and Islamists, to tear down so much of what we consider as good?

God’s ultimate motive is to destroy sin and all its effects, both in mankind and in the earth itself.  He has to allow sin and depravity to grow and flourish to such an extent that He can winnow out the population of the world.  Who will choose to follow Jesus Christ?  Who will deny Him?  The same decisions must be made by those in the church so as to truly separate the sheep and wolves.  Is a professing Christian actually one who belongs to God, or is he a ChINO – Christian In Name Only?

What is our response to this as true believers in Christ Jesus?  I think that God’s instructions to Israel can certainly pertain to us in this regard as we see in Isaiah 12:1-2:

You will say in that day:

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,

    for though you were angry with me,

your anger turned away,

    that you might comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation;

    I will trust, and will not be afraid;

for the Lord God is my strength and my song,

    and he has become my salvation.”


[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season.  Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005.  I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline!  Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments.  I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that.  In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose.  In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.  Earlier this year Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens.  He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021.  Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform.  That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.  This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD.  Each day this year Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year.  The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read.  You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page:  https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390.  You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.

Galatians 3:7 – Sons of Abraham

Gary W. Ritter

(Isaiah 4-6; Galatians 3)

One of the most egregious deceptions going around in Christendom is that since the faith of both Christians and Muslims is descended from Abraham, we are all co-equal sons of God.  This is wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to start, but begin we will.

This lie of equivalence is behind the false merging of religions into what we label as Chrislam, i.e. Christian Islam.  If we have the same father of our faiths, then we can come together and worship him in a united body.  With this source of inspiration, there is no need for separation in our beliefs.  That being the case, any differences between the two must mean that there is error in one.  If so, that one must be mistaken.  That can easily be resolved by simply discounting the radical elements that caused the separation.

Spoiler alert.  You will notice as I outline a few of these ideas that the weight of legitimacy always tilts toward Islam.  What are a few of the extremist positions that Christianity holds?

Islam believes that Allah is a monolithic, impersonal god; he has no son.  Christianity in our belief in Jesus Christ as God, and the Trinity comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are major differences.  Of great importance is that Jesus is relational.  These problems are easily resolved by dumbing Jesus down to the position that He was simply a wise man, a good teacher, but certainly not God.  To accept Islam, who Jesus is must be compromised.

Islam does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus.  It states that there was a substitute placed on the cross.  As a result, He never rose; rather He faked it.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central tenet of Christianity.  With no resurrection, we have nothing.  As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:13-14:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

But no worries for Chrislamists.  They can set the resurrection aside as a minor point of difference so as to foster unity.

Salvation in Islam comes wholly by works.  Adherents must please Allah through their various efforts to be holy in his sight.  The primary means for this is through jihad, or holy struggle.  Apologists for Islam inevitably say that jihad is only a spiritual effort.  The truth is that it includes the killing of unbelievers who offend Allah by not following his strict laws.  Muslims have no assurance in their faith as to gaining paradise.  They hope that their works tilt the scales so that they please Allah, but even Muhammad stated that he had no promise of heaven.  Christianity is based on our trust in Jesus Christ that He is who He says He is.  Salvation’s promise is captured in Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

You’ll note that there is much boasting in Islam, but again, no worries.  To the one who embraces Chrislam, this once more is a tiny area of dispute that can be easily ignored.

These and many more distinctions separate Christianity and Islam.  However, they are all disregarded because of the bedrock belief of commonality in our roots.  Father Abraham birthed both strains of faith.  That must mean that none of these differences are of any account.

Well… there’s a problem with this that Paul gets to the heart of.  It has to do with the works of the Law.  Scripture states that the faith of Abraham – which came before the Law – was accomplished outside the Law.  Galatians 3:5-6 reminds us:

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Paul then definitively states in Galatians 6:7:

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

That’s inconvenient.  On one hand we have Islam that is based completely on works; on the other we have Christianity whose foundation is faith alone through the grace of God by Christ alone.

In fact, as Paul says in Galatians 3:10:

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

It doesn’t matter how holy and righteous one thinks he is in the flesh, if he is under – and remains under – the Law, he is cursed.

A big problem that’s hard to wipe away is that Muslims believe the child of promise born to Abraham was Ishmael.  The Bible makes it clear that he was a child of the flesh and not of the Spirit, thus, he is not Abraham’s descendant who was blessed with the promise of being a blessing to all nations.  Actually, Ishmael and his descendants reflect this reality from God in Genesis 16:12:

He shall be a wild donkey of a man,

    his hand against everyone

    and everyone’s hand against him,

and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

Strife would always follow him; not peace.  Islam is not the “religion of peace” as so many love to declare.  It is the source of hatred and violence throughout much of the world.

Here’s the issue that is conveniently forgotten: God’s promise for the spiritual line of Abraham is described in Exodus 3:15:

God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

Many other verses show us that it is the people of Israel, descendants of not only Abraham, but also Isaac and Jacob who are God’s Chosen People.  The phrase “the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob” is used in Genesis 50:24, Exodus 2:24, Leviticus 26:42, Deuteronomy 1:8, and elsewhere, definitively noting the spiritual line that God chose as His own.

For anyone to declare that Christians and Muslims must coexist through their common faith in the same God is deceived.  Christianity is unique.  Paul summarized this for us in Galatians 3:13-14:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Our faith is built on Christ alone.  The spiritual line that birthed him is distinct and clearly laid out in Scripture.  Anyone claiming otherwise obviously is ignorant of God’s Word or willfully ignores it.  He does so at his peril.

We proclaim the Name of Jesus and lift Him high above all others!


[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season.  Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005.  I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline!  Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments.  I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that.  In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose.  In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.  Earlier this year Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens.  He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021.  Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform.  That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.  This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD.  Each day this year Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year.  The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read.  You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page:  https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390.  You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.

Isaiah 3:9 – They Proclaim Their Sin

Gary W. Ritter

(Isaiah 1-3; Galatians 2)

The first several chapters of Isaiah read as if God could be speaking to us today.  God called Isaiah to proclaim Israel’s sin so as to awaken the people to their danger of imminent judgment.  He cared deeply for His children Israel, but they were indifferent.  By this time in their history, God’s Chosen People had perfected the art of turning away from Him.  They had mastered the means by which to anger God and bring His wrath upon themselves, and they never learned from it.  We’re all familiar with an analog wave sign that is like a series of mountains and valleys.  It rises and falls only to rise again and fall again, repeating this pattern indefinitely.  This is a picture of Israel and her relationship with Yahweh.

We have to ask, which came first?  Faith or failure?  Was it the top of the rise of the analog signal (faith) or was it the bottom (failure)?  Since this behavior of Israel was seemingly never-ending as to her repetitive behavior leading to this series of ups and downs in her existence, it probably doesn’t matter.  What we do know is that from a position of strength in believing and obeying God, she always turned from Him.  In choosing to reject Him and His mercy, Israel bought God’s anger and brought destruction upon herself.  When she realized her mistake, while wallowing in the pit of despair for having vexed the Lord, He would rescue her and place her on a high pedestal once more in His good graces.

By the time Isaiah prophesied to Judah, the nation had turned its back on God once more.  So deep were her sinful ways that Isaiah likened the city of Jerusalem to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, as we see in Isaiah 1:10:

Hear the word of the Lord,

    you rulers of Sodom!

Give ear to the teaching of our God,

    you people of Gomorrah!

We see this same analogy during the Tribulation when Israel’s sins have heaped up to such a disgusting level, and God’s wrath is pouring out.  Antichrist has come and Israel is all-in with who he is.  She has forsaken God and tuned out the Word of the two witnesses preaching 1,260 days in Jerusalem before Antichrist kills them.  And so Revelation 11:8 tells us:

… and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.

What is it that Israel has done to raise God’s fury to such a level that He would declare Jerusalem on a par with the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?  The prophet articulates many sins, but Isaiah 3:9 is a good example:

For the look on their faces bears witness against them;

    they proclaim their sin like Sodom;

    they do not hide it.

Woe to them!

    For they have brought evil on themselves.

Do you know what is the most “gay” city in the world?  It’s Tel Aviv.  So desperately do the secular Jews desire to be loved by the world that the people in this city have wholeheartedly embraced the sin that God disdains and calls an abomination.  Their “pride” is on full display; their parades flaunt this and are like poking a stick in God’s eye.

Look at how God laments about this behavior in Isaiah 3:12:

My people—infants are their oppressors,

    and women rule over them.

O my people, your guides mislead you

    and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

But Israel didn’t listen then and they certainly aren’t hearing Yahweh voice His displeasure now.

The iniquities of Israel are no stranger to the rest of the world or to us in America.  As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9:

What has been is what will be,

    and what has been done is what will be done,

    and there is nothing new under the sun.

Sin, evil, and abomination aren’t limited to any one people or geographic area.  They are the hallmark of the human condition.  When God speaks through the prophet in Isaiah 3:16, He is describing that which has gone on for thousands of years and is rife today everywhere we look:

The Lord said:

Because the daughters of Zion are haughty

    and walk with outstretched necks,

    glancing wantonly with their eyes,

mincing along as they go,

    tinkling with their feet,

Pride in aberration has always been, and it will continue to be, until God finally destroys it.  Several times in Isaiah’s first three chapters he states that “in that day” God will act and things will change drastically.  Despite Israel’s rejection of the Lord, and notwithstanding the refusal of most of the world to revere and honor Him, He will redeem both.  He lifts up Israel at the time of the end and all peoples on the earth will rejoice.  Consider this famous verse of Isaiah 2:4:

He shall judge between the nations,

    and shall decide disputes for many peoples;

and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

    and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

    neither shall they learn war anymore.

Jesus will rule and reign personally when He sits on His throne in Jerusalem during His Millennial Kingdom.  Peace will come to mankind because of His direct intervention.  Wars will be a thing of the past; so will the abominable behavior that has infuriated God forever.

This encroaching darkness that personifies lawlessness around the globe will have its day during the Tribulation.  The wicked will cheer when God removes His people in the Rapture.  Why?   No longer will the evil ones have to hear those who follow Christ speak of sin.  They can transgress against the Lord all they want, clutching it to their breasts, and loving its forbidden pleasures for a season.  But that embrace of idolatry and sexual immorality, and all the other ways that people disgrace themselves in God’s presence, will end – horribly, I might add.

Knowing this, we who love the Lord need to seek Him even more in these treacherous days.  It’s easy to be discouraged by the words and actions of those around us, even by the afflictions we may suffer.  However, we must remember these troubles are light and temporary.  Think of the alternative!  Those who hate God will spend eternity in torment.  What is a little suffering on our part today?

As the song proclaims:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full, in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace.

That is our hope because it’s God’s promise.  Let’s cling tight to this assurance and do all we can to remain faithful to the end.


[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season.  Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005.  I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline!  Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments.  I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that.  In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose.  In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.  Earlier this year Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens.  He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021.  Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform.  That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.  This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD.  Each day this year Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year.  The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read.  You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page:  https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390.  You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.