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  Alan Jones, Editor

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"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 4                                                                         July 2004                                                                                        No1 

 

EVIDENCE THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD:  PREDICTIONS ABOUT BABYLON

 

The Bible claims that all Scripture is inspired of God (2 Tim 3:16).  No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Pet 1:21).  According to a poll published in Life magazine in December 1998, only 33% of Americans believe the Bible is the Word of God.  Many who consider themselves “Christians”, even many preachers, believe that the Bible came only from the mind and pen of men.  It is amazing that men live by and preach from a book that would have to be considered a lie and a fraud if its claim to be the Word of God is not true.  But, is there any evidence, any reason to believe, the Bible’s claim to be the Word of God?

            The God of the Bible has given man reason to belief in Him and in His prophets.  He challenged the idols to bring forward their strong arguments for men to believe in them.  He said to them, “Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods; Indeed do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.” (Isa 41:23)  Idols cannot speak, much less predict the future, but the God of the Bible declared things before they happened through His prophets so that when they happened men could say, “He is right” (Isa 41:26).

            An example of predictions made by Bible prophets that were fulfilled and remain fulfilled are the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning the great ancient city of Babylon.  From the lists of kings mentioned at the beginning of their writings (Isa 1:1, Jer 1:3) we date Isaiah’s predictions from about 700 B.C. and Jeremiah’s some time before 586 B.C.  Notice these  very  specific  predictions  made by  Isaiah

 

 

and  Jeremiah about Babylon:

1)  The Medes would destroy them (Isa 13:17-18; Jer 51:11,28)

2)  The city would  be  conquered easily, while the Babylonians  were drunk  (Jer 51:30-32, 38-40, 57-58).

     This was  a  remarkable prediction to make for, at the time it was made, Babylon was a  city  of  tremendous  fortifications.    The   city  had   14      miles of  walls  surrounding  it.  The outer  wall was  311  feet  high  (30 stories)   and   was   87 feet  wide   (11 car widths).   In  addition,  there were 250 watchtowers  that were 100 feet higher than  the  walls.   But Jeremiah reported that God’s attitude was,  “You can build up to heaven, but I will destroy you!” (Jer 51:53)

3) The  city  would  be  completely  destroyed: (Isa 13:19-22; Jer  50:3,12, 39; 51:61-64)

 

a)      As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

b)      Never to be inhabited.

c)      Arab would not pitch his tent there.

d)      Shepherds would not make their flocks lie down there.

e)      It would be left as a place for wild beasts.

       

       Read on to see that “God is right”, Isaiah and Jeremiah did speak as prophets of God, and that you can have confidence that God, not men was behind the writing of the Bible…

FROM DARIUS THE MEDE TO… SADDAM HUSSEIN??

       Darius the Mede destroyed Babylon on October 13, 539 B.C.  The Medes diverted the Euphrates River that flowed through Babylon and, ignoring simply the high walls, entered the city in the abandoned riverbed.  The city was taken easily, as the Babylonians were celebrating a feast and were drunk.

 

        Alexander the Great thought to restore the great temple of Babylon, but found the project too costly.  The Seleucids, who controlled the ruins of Babylon after him, also counted the cost and decided that reconstructing Babylon would be just as costly as building a new city.   So they built Seleucia, 40 miles north of Babylon’s ruins.  Everyone living in the area of the ruins then left for the new city.

 

         By the time of the reign of Augustus Caesar (27 B.C. – A.D. 14), the writer Strabo said, “The great city has become a desert.”  In A.D. 116, the emperor Trajan described the once glorious Babylon as “mounds and legends of mounds.”

 

         In 1853, Austen Layard described the site, as “a naked and hideous waste.  Owls stare from the scanty thickets and the foul jackal stalks through the furrows.  Truly, the glory of kingdoms and the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency is as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”  Floyd Hamilton wrote in 1927, “Travelers report that the city is absolutely uninhabited, even by Bedouins. 

 

There are various superstitions current among the Arabs that prevent them from pitching their tents there, while the character of the soil prevents the growth of vegetation suitable for the pasturage of flocks.” 

 

Saddam Hussein had a dream to rebuild Babylon (55 miles south of Baghdad).  Under his direction, in 1982 workers began recon-structing the 600-room palace of Nebuchad-nezzar.  They laid more than 60 million sand-colored bricks on top of the original bricks.  The new bricks were inscribed, “In the era of Saddam Hussein, protector of Iraq, who rebuilt civilization and rebuilt Babylon.”

 

  The Gulf War interrupted Saddam’s building.  Operation Iraqi Freedom crushed his dream.  God said that Babylon would be desolate forever.  Saddam said he would rebuild it.  Is it any wonder that he lost the war and was deposed from power?  “God is right”, Isaiah and Jeremiah were His prophets.  Men could not have foreseen either the destruction of Babylon or its continued desolation for 2543 years and counting.  You can believe that the Bible is what it claims, the Word of God!

 

  Want to see more evidence?  Please contact us for a correspondence course or an in home study of the abundant evidence available to convince us to believe in God, the Bible, as well as Jesus.



 

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