The Plunderer Plundered
Text: Jeremiah 50:10
Proposition: Why was the plunderer plundered?
Babylon was a powerful city that was well fortified. (Halley’s, Daniel)
- The wall around the city was 60 miles
- 300 feet high
- 80 feet thick
- 35 ft extending below ground
- ¼ mile clear space between the city and the wall
- 250 towers on the wall100 gates of brass
The Chaldeans had observed Cyrus of the Medes and the Persians conquering nation after nation. They knew their turn would come. They had been preparing for a long siege. They had crops and goods stored up for years. Their armies had lost to Cyrus and they retreated into their city. Mocking Cyrus, they thought he would never get into their city.
In Daniel Chapter 5 we have the story of the handwriting on the wall. Belshazzar was having a feast and a drinking party the night the Medes and the Persians entered Babylon. The rest of the city was doing the same as Belshazzar and those with him. While the Chaldeans were partying, Cyrus stationed parted of his army where the Euphrates river entered the city and part of his army where the river exited the city. He left them with instructions to enter the city as soon as the river became fordable. Cyrus then withdrew with the unwarlike portion of his army. He had them divert the Euphrates River into a marsh. The level of the river dropped until it was mid-thigh to a man. The soldiers walked into the city from each end of the river bed and took the city by surprise. The Persians took the city with very little resistance. The people were too drunk to notice they were being invaded.
Babylon had made other nations drunk with the wrath of God, Jeremiah 51:7, now it was her turn to receive from the cup of God’s wrath.
I. Babylon had abused her power (How had Babylon abused her power?)
A. Jeremiah 51:20-26
1. Babylon was God’s war club to discipline Israel and other nations.
2. Nebuchadnezzar was brutal. He killed Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes and then put his eyes out.
3. He threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abded-nego into the fiery furnace for not obeying his order to worship the golden image. He didn’t believe there was any god who could save them from him. He thought he was greater than God.
4. He gave himself credit for his greatness.
5. When Cyrus invaded the people were glad. They were glad to get rid of Belshazzar and his father Nabonidus. They were evil and oppressive rulers. Concerned only for themselves and not for the people.
B. They drank and feasted instead of decreeing justice.
1. Proverbs 31:4-9
2. Ecclesiastes 10:17
3. A nation needs a sober king who can defend his people and execute justice at any time.
4. A father needs to be sober at all times. He is the ruler of his house hold. He needs to be able to defend his family and execute justice at all times.
5. A mother needs to be sober at all times. A drunken mother is useless. Her children are vulnerable to perverts and those who would harm her children.
6. God wants elders, deacons and leaders in the church sober. They need to be able defend the church from false teaching and discipline those who are in sin at any time.
7. Older women are to be sober, Titus 2:3
II. They didn’t learn from their father’s sin (What didn’t they learn from their father’s sin?)
A. They didn’t learn to humble themselves
1. Daniel 5:17-23
2. Belshazzar and those with him should have realized that God was the one in control. He could remove them at anytime from their office, but they continued in their arrogance and praised only the gods they had control over and made themselves; the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood and stone.
3. Nebuchadnezzar recognized that God was the ruler over the realm of mankind, and not himself. Belzhazzar knew all about this, but he didn’t learn from his fore father’s sin.
B. We are to learn from our parent’s sin. Not repeat the sin that they were in.
1. Sometimes children blame their parents for the way they are, but they do the same thing their parents did.
2. A son has an abusive father and then he in turn abuses his children.
3. A son has a father who beats his wife and the then the son does the same.
4. A daughter gets pregnant before she is married and then her daughter does the same.
5. Many times people are in a cycle. The cycle must be broken. People need to come out of the sin their parents were in and not repeat what they did.
6. We aren’t guilty of our parents sin, but if we repeat what they did and don’t learn from it we are guilty of our sin.
C. They were guilty of the same sin.
1. Matthew 23:29-36
2. Many times children want to do better than their parents, but they end up just like them.
3. The scribes and Pharisees liked to think of themselves as better than their fathers, but they were just as bad. They had the son of God crucified.
4. God brought the guilt of their fathers down on the generation that crucified Jesus, because they didn’t learn from their fathers. They were just like them.
III. They worshipped idols (Who were the gods they worshipped?)
1. There is a story in the Appocrypha about Bel.
14:3) Now the Babylons had an idol, called Bel, and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine.
(14:4) And the king worshipped it and went daily to adore it: but Daniel worshipped his own God. And the king said unto him, Why dost not thou worship Bel?
(14:5) Who answered and said, Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh.
(14:6) Then said the king unto him, Thinkest thou not that Bel is a living God? seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?
(14:7) Then Daniel smiled, and said, O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink any thing.
(14:8) So the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them, If ye tell me not who this is that devoureth these expences, ye shall die.
(14:9) But if ye can certify me that Bel devoureth them, then Daniel shall die: for he hath spoken blasphemy against Bel. And Daniel said unto the king, Let it be according to thy word.
(14:10) Now the priests of Bel were threescore and ten, beside their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
(14:11) So Bel's priests said, Lo, we go out: but thou, O king, set on the meat, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast and seal it with thine own signet;
(14:12) And to morrow when thou comest in, if thou findest not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death: or else Daniel, that speaketh falsely against us.
(14:13) And they little regarded it: for under the table they had made a privy entrance, whereby they entered in continually, and consumed those things.
(14:14) So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then went they out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.
(14:15) Now in the night came the priests with their wives and children, as they were wont to do, and did eat and drinck up all.
(14:16) In the morning betime the king arose, and Daniel with him.
(14:17) And the king said, Daniel, are the seals whole? And he said, Yea, O king, they be whole.
(14:18) And as soon as he had opened the dour, the king looked upon the table, and cried with a loud voice, Great art thou, O Bel, and with thee is no deceit at all.
(14:19) Then laughed Daniel, and held the king that he should not go in, and said, Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps are these.
(14:20) And the king said, I see the footsteps of men, women, and children. And then the king was angry,
(14:21) And took the priests with their wives and children, who shewed him the privy doors, where they came in, and consumed such things as were upon the table. (14:22) Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.
B. They also worshipped a dragon.
1. (14:23) And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.
(14:24) And the king said unto Daniel, Wilt thou also say that this is of brass? lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh; thou canst not say that he is no living god: therefore worship him.
(14:25) Then said Daniel unto the king, I will worship the Lord my God: for he is the living God.
(14:26) But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give thee leave.
(14:27) Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder : and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.
C. Most people in the United States don’t worship idols, but they don’t worship the true God either. Instead they believe in millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth there were no humans.
1. Genesis chapter one has the creation happening in 6 days. The dinosaurs in the sea were created on the 5th day. Man and creatures on the earth were created on the 6th day. If Genesis is right, and I believe it is, man and dinosaurs lived at the same time.
2. Job 40 and 41 tell about the behemoth and the leviathan. Both of them are big scary powerful creatures that the descriptions sound something like dinosaurs.
3. In history we read about dragons. In the King James Bible we read about dragons. All educated people know that dragons are mythical creatures that never existed, but they believe in dinosaurs. A dragon and a dinosaur don’t look much different.
4. When the King James Bible was written the word dinosaur was not in the dictionary. It wasn’t until 1841 that the word “dinosaur” was “invented.”
5. What happened to the dinosaurs, nobody knows for sure. It was probably an combination of many things, but as man expands his territory and fills the earth. The big scary powerful creatures are killed off. Grizzly bears, wolves, lions and tigers are examples of animals that there aren’t very many of anymore. Some would be extinct if laws weren’t passed to protect them. Maybe the dinosaurs were killed off partially by man. Maybe Daniel made a bunch of balls of pitch, fat, and hair and got rid of a bunch of dinosaurs.
6. If people can come up with theories to discredit God’s word then they don’t see any reason they should obey what he says. They can do as they please and say the bible isn’t true. It is the same with idolatry. It is a way for man to avoid obeying the true God by worshipping his make believe god.
The Medes and the Persians plundered Babylon. God had disciplined his people. Now it was
Babylon’s turn to be disciplined.
Babylon would eventually be ruined completely.
Jeremiah 51:26, 37, and 60-64
Babylon continued to be a city after the Medes and Persians conquered it. Under Alexander the Great’s short rule it flourished as a city, but when he died the city declined and continued to decline until it was no longer inhabited.
Here is Babylon today (show picture of hanging gardens) The newer structures were built by Saddam Hussein. He needed to read the book of Jeremiah and Isaiah. Then he would have know his efforts were futile.
US forces have occupied the site for some time and have caused irreparable damage to the archaeological record. In a report of the British Museum's Near East department, Dr. John Curtis describes how parts of the archaeological site were levelled to create a landing area for helicopters, and parking lots for heavy vehicles. Curtis wrote that the occupation forces
"caused substantial damage to the Ishtar Gate, one of the most famous monuments from antiquity [...] US military vehicles crushed 2,600-year-old brick pavements, archaeological fragments were scattered across the site, more than 12 trenches were driven into ancient deposits and military earth-moving projects contaminated the site for future generations of scientists [...] Add to all that the damage caused to nine of the moulded brick figures of dragons in the Ishtar Gate by soldiers trying to remove the bricks from the wall."
God means what he says. If nations don’t repent of their sin they will be destroyed. Individuals will also be destroyed if they don’t repent. Israel and Judah repented of their sin and they returned to their land. Babylon didn’t repent. Today she is desolate and will be forever. Repent before it is too late.
Leave the false gods of greed and what is falsely called science behind. Live for God repent of your sin and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin.