|The Flight of Lot ...||Bob Moore|
Abraham's nephew was Lot, whom Abraham adopted upon the death of his brother, Haran. Tradition says that both Abraham and Haran were thrown into a fire for preaching the true religion in Ur. God rescued Abraham, but Haran died.
God continued to blessed Abraham for his faithfulness by giving him the land of Canaan. He said, "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Genesis 12:7). Because at that time Abraham had no children of his own, his wife being both barren and old, he must have considered that the Lord's promise would be fulfilled through Lot who came to Canaan with him. Eventually, strife developed between the households of Abraham and Lot, so the two separated. Lot chose to live in the plains of the Jordan river, which in those days were very fertile. Abraham settled to the west.
Among the five cities toward which Lot went were Sodom and Gomorrah. Their abandonment of the true religion, coupled with their affluence, had increased their disdain for decency and morality. Their sin was so grievous that God determined to destroy both cities. Before doing so, He sent two angels to warn Lot and his family to flee the approaching calamity. The men of Sodom were attracted to the angels and wanted them as sexual partners. When they threatened to break into Lot's house and take his guests, the angels smote them with blindness. Perhaps that event convinced Lot and his family that they had no business living among such wicked people. The next morning he fled with his wife and two daughters. His two sons-in-law remained behind. Once they had left, God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife disobeyed the commandment and turned to look on the city she had just left. When she did she was turned into a pillar of salt. This pillar was still standing 2000 years later when the historian, Josephus, wrote of it.
Through Isaiah, God promised to destroy Babylon the same way he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He said, "Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation" (Isaiah 13:19-20). Babylon was built near the tower of Babel by Belus, son of Semiramis, Nimrod's wife. Nimrod and his father, Cush, had built the great tower as a temple in which they could worship demons. After his execution Semiramis claimed that her dead husband, whom she had made into a god, had returned and impregnated her with his son. Belus was later crowned king of his father's kingdom by Cush.
Belus never regained his father's ten-provinced kingdom, but Babylon soon became the unofficial seat of the false religion and gradually developed into a world power. Eventually, it captured Jerusalem and carried the Jews there into captivity. From the days of the Babylonian captivity until 1948 the Jews have never enjoyed their own independent sovereign state.
While Babylon was conquered by Cyrus, king of the Medes, seventy years after the Jewish exile, it continued to be inhabited. Today Sadam Hussain, king of Iraq, is busy rebuilding the ancient city. These facts mean that the prophecy of Isaiah about the destruction of Babylon is still a future event. Someday it will be destroyed in the same way Sodom and Gomorrah were. Fire and brimstone will consume it. Its destruction is often predicted in the Bible.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon who conquered the Jews, had a disturbing dream which he could neither remember nor interpret. None of his advisers could tell him about it. Only Daniel, a Jewish prophet, could reveal the dream and its meaning. He said Nebuchadnezzar had seen a statue with a head of gold, a chest of silver, a torso of brass, legs of iron, and feet of clay mixed with iron. He revealed that the head of this statue represented Babylon by saying, "Thou art this head of gold" (Dan 2:38). Since Persia conquered Babylon, Greece subdued Persia, and Rome replaced Greece, each of these kingdoms in turn subjecting the Jews, they were the kingdoms represented by the silver, brass, and iron in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Rome, like the legs of the statue, was divided into two parts. The western part continued as the Roman empire, disintegrating under repeated barbarian invasions between 400 and 570 AD, but the eastern part, which became the Byzantine empire, remained until 1452. From the rubble of the Roman empire ten kingdoms are predicted to rise. Daniel concludes, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44). Eventually, all the successors to Babylon will be destroyed and only the kingdom God will be left on earth.
Since the kingdoms represented by the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's vision all descended :from Babylon, they will inherit the judgment pronounced against their head. John the Revelator described the fall of Babylon as a future event. Since the apostle lived during the Roman empire, we must conclude that his prophecy refers to the destruction of all the successors of Babylon. The promise Isaiah made that Babylon would never again be inhabited predicts the destruction of Babylon and its successors. Daniel said that God would set up His kingdom and destroy the statue in the days of the ten kingdoms. Afterwards, His kingdom would fill the earth. It is the destruction of Babylon and its successors to which Isaiah refers when he prophesies that it will never be inhabited again.
The fall of Babylon remains a future event. Today the pagan practices and philosophies first advanced in ancient Babylon are rapidly spreading through out the world. The names of false gods are being resurrected and revered. Satanic teachings and rituals are being advanced. As the false religion grows, immorality and even perversion increase. The affluent in our nation now finance unique ways to pursue pleasure. Adultery, thievery, and murder abound. Christian restraints are ignored. Homosexuals, like the men of Sodom, not only demand :freedom to enjoy their perversion, but want to corrupt sacred things. At the same time, the liberty guaranteed in America, especially for religious expression, is evaporating. Christianity seems to be neither cherished nor protected by government. Instead, it is mocked and attacked.
Entertainment is increasingly hostile to Christian and family values. Public schools not only refuse to foster religious devotion but systematically teach humanistic doctrine and attitudes. The government has recommended eliminating becoming more meaningful to all religious expression from the work place. The apostle's admonition is becoming more meaningful to believers. He said, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Corinthians 6: 14,17). The paganization of American society is forcing devout people to separate themselves from it.
John the Revelator prophesied that just before the destruction of Babylon, God would invite His people to come out from that wicked society. He said, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev 18:4). Jesus revealed that angels would help in gathering the righteous out from among the wicked. He said, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:31). Just as God sent angels to bring Lot out from Sodom before He destroyed that city, He will send forth heavenly messengers to gather his people out from latter-day Babylon before he destroys it. Jesus explained the connection when he said, "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17 :28-29).
God will not let the wicked destroy the righteous. Those conspiring to tyrannize His people will be consumed. He will gather out the faithful and burn the oppressors. Jesus said, "The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire" (Mat 13 :49-50). The righteous do not need to fear. God will save them as He did Lot. He will preserve His people and establish them in the peaceful kingdom He will set up on the earth.