“See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your day of reckoning has arrived—the day when I will punish you. O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them.”
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go. But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest!
“The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,” says the Lord. “It will strike the people of Babylon—her officials and wise men, too. The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them.
“Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas. It will be a home for owls. Never again will people live there; it will lie desolate forever. I will destroy it as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord. “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it.”
At the height of its power, the Babylonian empire seemed immovable. But when Babylon had finished serving God’s purpose of punishing Judah for her sins, it would be punished and crushed for its own. Pride was Babylon’s characteristic sin. Pride comes from feeling self-sufficient or believing that we don’t need God. Proud nations or persons, however, will eventually fail because they refuse to recognize God as the ultimate power. Getting rid of pride is not easy, but we can admit that it often rules us and ask God to forgive us and help us overcome it.
The best antidote to pride is to focus our attention on the greatness and goodness of God. Cultivating a thankful attitude is the cure. Consider all that God has given you and done for you.