Some of you may know I have definite ideas when it comes to the end times, specifically about what the Lord is going to do in regards to the destruction of the wicked. I am a catastrophist, which means I take literally the word of the Lord in which He says He will fight our battles for us. You can read more about what I believe and the scriptures that support that in this PDF link.
However, there is one event prophesied in scripture I have always wondered might very well be a man-made catastrophe, or in other words, a nuclear holocaust. You can read about it in chapter thirteen of Isaiah. Symbolism in the latter verses of the chapter is rich with images representing a piece of earth that will not be inhabited for generations because of the deadly effects of radiation.
Empty For Generation After Generation
I like this version sent to me by a friend in a recent email, along with his own commentary.
“Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
They cannot be tempted by silver
or bribed with gold.
The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
They will have no mercy on helpless babies
and will show no compassion for children.”
Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
and wild goats will go there to dance.
Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
its time of destruction will soon arrive.
Religious Significance Of The Middle East
Babylon, of course, no longer exists, as least not as a place inhabited today. The ruins of Babylon lie some fifty miles south of Baghdad. When we speak of Babylon now we usually refer to the influence of worldliness. Perhaps this 20-minute video from the Isaiah Institute will give you a better feel for how the Lord uses Babylon as a type or shadow of things to come in the last days.
Often when Westerners hear news of atrocities in the middle-east they dismiss them as simply the way things are over there, never believing such things could happen in the United States. For those who understand the scriptures, especially Isaiah, they know there is great significance to the idea of Babylon rising again as a political power. It signifies the beginning of the end times.
A Caliphate Has Been Declared
Rather than get into all the background of Babylon, I’ll refer you to Adrian Larsen’s post on the subject over on his blog, To The Remnant. Adrian provides an excellent explanation as to why all the whole world should pray that Baghdad does not fall. Of course Baghdad is not Babylon, at least not yet. If the Islamic state captures Baghdad, then Babylon will once again be among us.
A Caliphate has been declared once again, something Islam has not had in over five hundred years. That means millions of Muslims are preparing to take jihad to a whole new level. You can’t have a real Caliphate without territory and lots of it. The publically stated goal of this Caliphate is to capture Baghdad from which to conduct massive war, specifically upon Israel.
The Use of Nuclear Weapons
In order to defend itself, Israel will be forced to use nuclear weapons. The caliph, a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community, expects and desires this. They have prophecies about Armageddon just as we do in the bible. They believe their role is to bring about this all-out war of nations.
You read Isaiah chapter thirteen again and tell me if it doesn’t describe a land made desolate by nuclear attack. I hope and pray that Baghdad doesn’t fall to ISIL (see footnote), because that would be the beginning of the end. The Islamic State will quickly amass an army of millions, who will come from many nations with one objective – to destroy Israel, which they will almost accomplish.
Pray That Baghdad Does Not Fall
If Israel nukes Babylon / Baghdad, the whole world, including the United States will turn against the tiny nation. Then nothing will be able to save Jerusalem except divine intervention. We will all be surprised by how fast this escalates if Baghdad falls. Yet so few seem to be aware of what is happening in Syria and Iraq. But the God of Heaven has asked us to turn our attention there.
Along with many others, I am fasting and praying today, specifically that Baghdad will not fall. There are thousands of Christians and Muslims in the city who do not espouse the extreme ways of ISIL. Abraham interceded with “The God of Heaven” when Jehovah contemplated destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps our united faith and prayers today will do the same for Baghdad.
For a more in-depth analysis of the perilous situation in Baghdad read Graeme Wood’s article in the Atlantic. The map illustrating this post is taken from that publication.
Footnote: ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIL is the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The differentiation between the word ‘Syria’ and the word ‘Levant’ is actually quite significant. It makes a big difference because of this: ISIL includes Levant, which includes the area we like to call Israel. The Islamic State has designs that go from Iran through Egypt. There is no Israel in their plans.