Babylon ‘Lady of Kingdoms’ was not sober and was overthrown in a moment

Daniel was absent from king Belshazzar’s boozy feast (Daniel 5) until he was summoned to read the writing on the wall. That very night the Chaldean king was killed (Dan. 5:30). The lady of kingdoms did not think it necessary to be sober because she trusted in her own military might, not in the Lord.

Greek historian Xenophon (Cyropaedia 7.5) said Cyrus gave a pep talk to his soldiers shortly before the great Babylonian Chaldean Empire was successfully overthrown (539 B.C.):

“we are now to march are the same men that we have repeatedly defeated, and that, too, when they were all drawn up in battle line with their allies at their side, and when they were all wide awake and {nēphontas} sober and fully armed; whereas now we are going to fall upon them at a time when many of them are asleep, many drunk, and none of them in battle array. And when they find out that we are inside the walls, in their panic fright they will be much more helpless still than they are now.”

Herodotus (Histories, 1.191) said: “But as it was, the Persians took them unawares, and because of the great size of the city (those who dwell there say) those in the outer parts of it were overcome, but the inhabitants of the middle part knew nothing of it; all this time they were dancing and celebrating a holiday which happened to fall then, until they learned the truth only too well.”

Christ coming when you do not expect

Now keep in mind the Son of Man – Christ – is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:44; Luke 12:40; 21:34). Unless you believe Him, you will behave like the “Lady of Kingdoms” in complacent self-assurance, instead of sober belief. “… she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’” (Revelation 18:7)

Isaiah and Habakkuk (1:6) and had prophesied the sudden demise of the haughty Chaldean kingdom:

Isaiah prophesied sudden widowhood of Chaldeans

“Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans;
For you shall no longer be called
The Lady of Kingdoms.

I was angry with My people;
I have profaned My inheritance,
And given them into your hand.
You showed them no mercy;
On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily.
And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’
So that you did not take these things to heart,
Nor remember the latter end of them.

Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures,
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.

They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.”
(Isaiah 47:5-9)

Habakkuk: the just shall live by faith

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.”

Indeed, because he transgresses by wine,
He is a proud man,

And he does not stay at home.
Because he enlarges his desire as hell,
And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied,
He gathers to himself all nations
And heaps up for himself all peoples.”

“Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
And a taunting riddle against him, and say,
‘Woe to him who increases
What is not his—how long?
And to him who loads himself with many pledges’?
Will not your creditors rise up suddenly?
Will they not awaken who oppress you? [Hebrew yaqatz; in Greek version eknēpsousin – compare eknēpsate sober up as in 1 Cor. 15:34]
And you will become their booty.

Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor,
Pressing him to your bottle,
Even to make him drunk,
That you may look on his nakedness!
You are filled with shame instead of glory.
You also—drink!
And be exposed as uncircumcised!
The cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned against you,
And utter shame will be on your glory.

(Habakkuk 2:4-7,15-16)

The just shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4) – This is quoted repeatedly by the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:16; 3:11). This faith means faith in Christ. It is not a “faith” placed in one’s own self like haughty ancient Babylon, nor like the self-faith of today’s secular humanists. True faith is like a breastplate because we cast off works of darkness, we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts. We wear the breastplate of righteousness like our Lord, whom we love, wears it also. (Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 6:14).

Put on the armour of light; put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

(Romans 13:11-14)

Put on the breastplate of faith and love; put on the helmet of salvation.

“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:6-9)

Ephesians 5:18 says: Do not be drunk with wine in which is asōtia (no salvation)…

If you want your head saved, then you had better put on your helmet of salvation. Be strong in the Lord’s full suit of armour (Eph 6:11). Should any soldier not be sober? It would be dangerous like a sword fight when your helmet is missing. You must remain ready and alert.

All nations will be gathered to be judged by Christ the King

“the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
(Matthew 24:50-51)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32)

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
(Revelation 19:6-8)

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