Just like the real city of Babylon had a leader the religious belief system of Babylon also has a leader.
When dealing with the topic of Satan in the book of Isaiah he is talking about an actual King but just like the city is paralleled to its belief system so the ruler of Babylon is also paralleled to Satan.
When Jesus rebuked Peter in Matthew 16:23 He said “Get behind me Satan” even though he was talking to Peter directly. Jesus knew who was doing the influencing of Peter and Isaiah is not only speaking of a king but the one who is influencing the king as well.
“Indeed it foreshadows the doom of Satan himself. Ultimately it does not matter what the identity of Babylon or its king is. They stand for all who set themselves against God, and they face a common destiny of disgrace and defeat.” Isaiah, John L. Mackay, Pg 345
“Satan’s two most effective ploys are (1) to get people to underestimate him so that he can lure us into a hidden snare, or (2) to overestimate him that we may be so intimidated by him that we are paralyzed by his threatening power.” R.C. Sproul
Satan is known by several names because every name Satan is given is an indicator of the work that he does. As Satan he opposes, as the Devil he accuses and slanders and as Tempter he seeks to lure people to commit sins against God.
The word Strike means a sudden attack, typically a military one. We will see today that we are in a spiritual battle and one that looks just like a military war with lives on the line.
Isaiah 14:4- 8 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury[a] ceased!5 The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, 6 that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. 7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing.
8 The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’
- Satan Strikes with Rage
“The oppressor and the fury has ceased”
The king of Babylon was an evil man who used people for his own gain but it is not his identity that is in focus but the policies and the cruelty in which he reigned. The King of Babylon was a narcissistic ruler who would use rage and bullying to get his way or to punish those who did not give him his way. It was a raging violence that was only stopped by divine intervention. Why the people of Israel put their hope in him only shows that when people turn from the ways of God it leads them into bondage to the very things they turned to. The things that promise them peace and relief only bring them more pain.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
To devour is to destroy leaving nothing behind and that is how the King of Babylon was and that is how Satan is with anyone he can destroy.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Abortion, Euthanasia Murder and violence are all part of how Satan rules and it is how he is allowed to display his anger for a time set by God. As human beings we are made in the image of God and Satan hates it and wants us destroyed either by destroying ourselves or each other. One day God will put a stop to Satan just like God put a stop to the King of Babylon but until that time we need to be aware and diligent that Satan wants us destroyed.
2. Satan Strikes Repeatedly
“Struck the people in wrath with unceasing blows”
Satan will continually strike you over and over again until He destroys you and there are several ways that he does this to destroy people’s lives.
A) The Strike against Jesus
Revelation 12:4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
This verse is talking about Jesus and how Satan did all he could to destroy Jesus from coming and dying for our sins. Satan also tried to get Jesus to worship him and forfeit his reign and Satan tried over and over again to get Jesus to sin so that He would not be the perfect lamb to die for our sins(Matthew 4) Satan tried to destroy Jesus through death but Jesus rose from the dead showing that He not only died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3) but He defeated death as well proving He was the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25) When Satan failed to get Jesus to fall and when he could not kill Him his only recourse was to now go after Gods creation to try and keep them from having faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross which is the only way we can be back in a right relationship with God. (John 3:36)
Every religion has something to say about Jesus Christ and how one makes it to Heaven. It is only through us putting our faith and hope in Jesus Christ and not by our works that we are made right with God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) People want to add their own works to salvation but the question then becomes “what did Jesus actually accomplish on the cross and why did He say It is finished? “
The most important question all of us need to answer is the one that Jesus asked His disciples.
Mark 8:27-29 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
B) The Strike against the Family
Genesis 3:11b-13 Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 4:8-9 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
Of course Adam and Eve were the first family and the first attack against the creation of God was the first family and the family unit has been suffering ever since. Divorce, affairs, abuse, betrayal and even murder are all too common in families today. We are seeing even the definition of what it means to be a family being changed from God’s original design. Satan wants to destroy the family because he wants to destroy anything that God designed. Satan has a plan to destroy your family do you have a plan for him not to?
C)The Strike against the Church
By Questioning God’s Word
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
“Did God actually say?” is as common today as it was in the Garden of Eden. People are questioning everything that God calls sin from when life begins and why abortion should be legal to who you should be able to marry. We say things like “I like to believe God is like…” instead of taking what Gods word actually says about Him. The Battle to prove that what we have is God’s word is something that seems like every generation goes through but believing God’s word has a say in every area of our lives is something that many church goers are not willing to accept anymore.
“Solo Scriptura” The Scriptures alone has the final authority not if we agree with it not if it is culturally acceptable but they stand alone as our final authority regardless of what anyone says.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
It’s an intermarriage of righteous with unrighteousness that is distorting the truth. It’s when we twist the word of God to fit our lifestyle instead of our lifestyle to fit the word of God that we become corrupted as a church. Many of us are deceived in this way and we do not even realize it because Christianity has been made to look more like the world so that it is acceptable. We are called to look out for false teaching and to test to see if the teachings are from God.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
It is almost unacceptable to question religious leaders today without someone getting mad at you but you should never not examine the scriptures to make sure what is being taught is not twisted or manipulated. (Acts 17:11)
Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
We have been fortunate here in America that we have not had to suffer for what we believe but that is slowly beginning to change. We have seen a Christian baker and photographer who did not want to participate in a wedding be scrutinized and sued for hate speech because of their beliefs. The Bible is clear about one thing and that is persecution will grow as we get closer to His return but the good news is that with persecution the church of Christ has always grown under it.
3)Satan Strikes will End
“How the Oppressor has ceased”
One day the one who has been causing all of this pain and sorrow will be destroyed forever.
Revelation 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
“The Earth is at rest and the cypresses rejoice. “
Even the trees will rejoice when the oppressor is dead. The King of Babylon was one that would go in and not just conquer its people but would destroy its landscape or prized trees just to humiliate and remind the people of his power. Because of the destruction to the earth Isaiah paints a picture that even nature will rejoice at his destruction. Romans 8:18-23 says that creation has been groaning waiting for the redemption to take place and Psalm 96:11-12 says they will rejoice. Paul was showing just like Isaiah that the earth itself will be redeemed .
“Break forth in singing”
The natural inclination when we are saved from the oppressor for ever will be singing. All the frustrations and tension we feel will be gone forever. We will no longer feel the strikes of the evil one and we will praise and sing to God who is the one who destroyed the evil one.
Until the final day or our final day we need to be diligent to not allow the strikes of Satan detour us from Gods will. Satan is playing for keeps and we need to make sure we are not corrupting the word of God or allowing corruption into our lives by listening to false teaching and those who twist the word of God for their own gain. Satan wants to destroy you, your family, and your church and he will continually strike and wait for opportune times to destroy you just like he tried with Jesus. W need to stay in prayer, in God’s Word and in the fellowship of believers so we are not destroyed by the strikes of Satan and we can withstand his attacks x-sizing:b