Summary: God’s abiding intent is that His glory should fill the whole earth as it has filled His house (2:14) & that man should know His glory fully. For this to occur the false knowledge the Babylonian character & aspirations epitomize must be removed.
SIN’S SENTENCE CONTINUED
We have discovered in verse 14 that God’s abiding intent, His overarching aim, is that His glory should fill the whole earth as it has filled His house, (Num. 14:21; Ps. 57:5,11; 72:19; Ex. 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:11) and that man should know His glory fully. This knowledge will be as the sea in its length, breadth and depth. For this to occur all the false knowledge the Babylonian character and aspirations epitomize and typify, must be removed. God’s glory, revealed in His actions & character will be made known 1 day. In that day of judgment the Babylonians will submit & become obedient & honor Him as Lord. For His glorious presence will manifest His sovereignty to one & all.
IV. PERVERSE DISGRACERS, 15-17.
The taunt song of God which was initiated in verse 6b begins its fourth stanza of in verse 15. This portion condemns the taking advantage of others. "Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, who mix in your venom even to make them drunk so as to look on their nakedness!”
The fourth woe introduces a new accusation, expressed by the image of inducing drunkenness in order to incapacitate and humiliate. They wanted to make others vulnerable and take advantage of them. The Babylonian is pictured as a drunkard intoxicating his neighbor so that he might indulge in some wanton pleasure. They amused themselves and took unfair opportunity of those they conquered.
Induced drunkenness and lewd behavior often go together. While the Bible does not demand total abstinence it does seriously warn of the consequences of alcoholic drink (Prov. 20:1; 21:17; 23:20, 21, 29-35; Rom 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Thess. 5:7).
YOUTH, be warned! Others want to intoxicate you with alcohol, drugs or pleasure to take advantage of you. You can overcome by being filled with the knowledge of the Lord.
Note the progression in this song or verses. Seduction is moving far down the slippery slope of moral decline. First, there is greed. Then there is mild injustice, followed by more serious injustice. Next comes violence to obtain. Now there is seduction and perversion. When security can’t be found in physical possession, man turns to relationships hoping to find security in love. But without God, man does not know how to correctly love or form selfless intimate relationships. If he is able to, his relationship become seductive or for his own desires and benefits. Debasing seduction is a shameful substituted for real love which is self-sacrificing.
Such action is severely condemned by God who fashions its outcome as is seen in verse 16. "You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the LORD’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will come upon your glory.”
Once again the Babylonians’ motives are self-interest, they seek their own honor or glory (kâbod) through malicious humiliation of their neighbors. The Babylonians were seeking to glorify themselves through the demeaning of others. Since they have chosen to attempt to honor self instead of God, to whom belongs all honor and glory, they instead will be humiliated.
Again God turns tables and they reap what they sow. He causes them to be drunk on their own self importance, on their pridefulness in power. The result; they who had caused others to become shameful (or disgraced) will be shamefully exposed or filled with shame.
Many see seduction as power. God sees it as sin; sin which will come back to haunt the sinner. The one who seduces becomes seduced. The one who corrupts becomes corrupted as his just punishment. The cup of judgment they have delivered to others will come around and be delivered to them.
Not only did they rape the people they stripped the land. Verse 17, "For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, to the town and all its inhabitants.
Judgment is determined against Babylon because of the desolation done in Palestine and Lebanon. Lebanon, a nation to the north of Israel, is often associated with the territory of Israel (1 Kings 9:19; 6:8; 7:4; Isa. 33:9; 35:2) for it was originally given to them by the Lord (Deut. 1:7-8; Josh. 1:4).
Babylon declared war on the environment also. Lebanon was known for its abundance of cedar trees and wild animals. It suffered the ruthless removal of timber for the construction of Babylonian buildings and the destructive slaughter of beasts that lived in the forest.
There would be repercussions because of their rape of the land. As erosion would make sure the land would never fully recover, God would make sure the Babylonians wouldn’t either.