“Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure. You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other. I will never be a widow or lose my children.’ Well, both these things will come upon you in a moment: widowhood and the loss of your children. Yes, these calamities will come upon you, despite all your witchcraft and magic. . . . So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared.
“Now use your magical charms! Use the spells you have worked at all these years! Maybe they will do you some good. Maybe they can make someone afraid of you. All the advice you receive has made you tired. Where are all your astrologers, those stargazers who make predictions each month? Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds. But they are like straw burning in a fire; they cannot save themselves from the flame. You will get no help from them at all; their hearth is no place to sit for warmth. And all your friends, those with whom you’ve done business since childhood, will go their own ways, turning a deaf ear to your cries.” (Isaiah 47:8-9, 11-15)
Caught up in the pursuit of power and pleasure, Babylon believed in its own greatness and claimed to be the only power on earth. Babylon felt completely secure, and Nebuchadnezzar, its king, wallowed in the pride of his accomplishments. But God taught Nebuchadnezzar a powerful lesson by taking everything away from him (Daniel 4:28-37).
The people of Babylon sought advice and help from astrologers and stargazers. But, like the idols of wood or gold, astrologers could not even deliver themselves from what was to come from the hand of God.
This sad story of the predicted fall of Babylon shows that alternatives to God are destined to fail. Many people today still seek advice from horoscopes, palm readers, and other sources. Fear or lack of belief in God can lead a person to take desperate measures (see, for example, the story of Saul in 1 Samuel 28). If you want help or desperately need advice or truth, cry out to God, who has proven his power in creation and in history. Seek also wise counsel from God’s Word, a pastor, or a trusted friend who walks with God.