God wants to clear out all of the attitudes which hinder our relationship with Him. He wants a family who spends time with Him, and listens to Him as the Father He is.
As mentioned earlier, these nations which are receiving judgment, represent erroneous attitudes which hinder our walk with our God.
Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazar, and Elam are types for worldly lusts and mindsets which cause people to despise God’s true church. We see those attitudes throughout our modern society.
Then we get to the “biggie.” Babylon. Babylon is the nation which took Judah into captivity and burned Jerusalem. It literally destroyed the foundations of what God had done in the earth.
The word Babylon is derived from the word Babel. (It actually sits on the site of the Tower of Babel). Remember that story? God confused the languages of the people so that they couldn’t agree and accomplish their evil schemes. The word means “confusion.”
Babylon actually means, “confusion by mixing,” and we can readily see where we are going here. The modern church is confused because of all of the mixing with the ideas of the world. Taking modern ideas and trying to incorporate them into a church representing God’s ideas has created havoc. And many people have been taken into “Babylonian captivity” by trying to do just that.
So how do we get out of captivity? We turn our minds and hearts back to the One True God, and we turn our minds and hearts back to His Word. When people are trying to incorporate current erroneous thinking into their theology, they treat the Bible as if it were just another book. They critique it – and they explain away many of the truths, in an attempt to be intellectual.
That is a dangerous deadend route to take.
God is God! He is the One who is all-knowing, and He has established His Word in the earth in order to share His wisdom with us. So what are we to do? We are to reject the teachings which try to discredit the Bible, and we are to embrace His Word and His Spirit.
Technology has changed. Modes of travel have changed. Modern conveniences have redirected our activities. However, the human heart has not changed. It still has the same issues it did from the fall of man. And God still has the answers.
The theology which teaches otherwise will be overthrown, just as Babylon was. Though it held the Judeans for a while, the day would come when it would be overthrown. And a remnant of people would be allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild.
I want to be a rebuilder, don’t you? I want to see the truth return to God’s church everywhere. I want His will to be preeminent in the earth. And I want to see eyes opened to His ways as never before.
“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (V. 11-12)
Faith and patience could be compared to a husband and wife in a marriage. They go together and they both are important.
Without faith, we cannot expect to have the promises of God in our lives. Jesus taught over and over that faith is the key to receiving God’s best.
Yet we also need patience, an attribute which undergirds our faith. With patience working on our behalf, we stay focused and assured even though we don’t see the answer yet. We don’t abort our mission, but we continue to press toward the goal set before us.
Sometimes the best God has for us takes some time to develop. Once when I was praying for my children, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Marigolds spring up over night. Oak trees take longer.” I have remembered that moment many times when I would be praying for something which seemed to be out of reach.
Let’s allow the time necessary for our Father to bring about His best. Patience, along with our faith, will give Him whatever time He needs to create His best in our lives.