This site shows the satellite view of the nations mentioned in Isaiah 13-25. Scrolling this will help you remember the rise and fall of the nations predicted by Isaiah in the 700’s BC.
The alliance between Israel and Syria really frightened the people of Judah. The leaders of Judah were sure this conspiracy would do them in! Instead, the Assyrian Empire arose out of the northern Tigris River Valley (think Nineveh and Jonah) to threaten Judah and to take Israel captive. Most of the nations mentioned in these chapter 15-20 were destroyed by the Assyrians. Except Judah, whom God protected, and who possessed these written pleas from Isaiah to turn back to God and His ways.
Next, the Babylonian Empire arose out of Southern Iraq. They were the one God used to discipline Judah and Jerusalem. Babylon became a great capital (in N. Iraq), only to be destroyed forever by repeated take-overs by the Medes (N. Iran), the Persians, and the Greeks. The Arabians never bothered to rebuild it. ( The government of Iraq today is trying to protect the ruins.) Isaiah preached all this in the 700’s BC, predicting events occurring in 722 BC, 586 BC, 530’s BC, 04 AD, and some yet to be.
The rise and fall of these world empires serve as signposts which remind us of God’s justice. They are historical facts that validate the truthfulness of scripture. They are warning signs telling all of us that judgment and destruction are coming if one does not turn back to God and trust in His salvation.
“The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
Because they have transgressed the laws,
Changed the ordinance,
Broken the everlasting covenant,
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
And those who dwell in it are held guilty.” (Isaiah 24:5-6)
We learn from these chapters that God is sovereign, in control. He uses whom He wishes to accomplish His purposes. God is also just. That’s what this is all about. Because being just is part of His very nature, He cannot be flippant about sin and rejection. Therefore, we need a Savior, a Rock to hide under, a righteous covering of our sins. Jesus is that Savior, the Messiah, the Christ, our rock and covering when God has to be true to himself–to His justice.
Remember, we are thinking through these pages of Isaiah, thinking about biblical principles, applying them to warm our hearts toward our compassionate God, friend, brother. Even though the earth’s judgment appears harsh to our ears today, what stands out is the mercy and compassion of God in providing a Savior and ordering world events to bring that about.