The Broom of Destruction
Robert Wurtz II
“Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities. “I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the LORD. “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 14:23 ESV).
Isaiah 14 is one of the passages along with Ezekiel 28 that deal with the fall of Lucifer or as we commonly call him, Satan, the Devil, the Dragon, or the Serpent. The passage is addressed to the king of Babylon, who in reality was a mere puppet (if you like) on the hand of Lucifer himself.
When you read Isaiah 14, understand that God is speaking indirectly to the king, but directly to Lucifer. This is a similar situation as to when Jesus addresses Peter with the well-known words, “Get behind me Satan (…)” in Matthew 16:23. Jesus addressed the one who had filled Peter’s heart to challenge Him on His road to the cross. It sounded like Jesus was talking to Peter right up to where he used the name Satan and then we understood what had happened. Isaiah 14 reveals the king of Babylon being similarly influenced by Lucifer (Satan) as well.
After the dispersion of the nations at Babel, God established the boundaries of the different ethnic groups and their respective languages with a view to them feeling after God and finding Him (Acts 17:27). Each ethnic group was assigned a supernatural being to guide them according to God’s design. But rather than lead the people according to God’s ways, these supernatural beings taught the people many evil things. One of them was to worship the supernatural beings with idols and various methods of sacrifice. We know this as idolatry.
The “gods of the land” that we read about in the OT were not mere idols of gold, silver, or wood, shaped with man’s hands into various creatures. Those figures and figurines were the physical representation of the supernatural being (demons) that were back of those idols. Paul stated clearly, “What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons” (I Cor. 10:19-20).
The whole earth is filled with nations who worship these false gods in one way or another. This has always been the case. Moreover, these demonic powers have “power” and can to a large degree perform miracles—as we saw when Moses threw down with the soothsayers of Egypt. The people worshipped these gods because they obtained favors from them such as rain, protection, prosperity, etc. This is just a generalization. They also worshipped them to enhance their fleshly lusts.
When Jesus came to earth in the incarnation, Satan opened his mouth like a great dragon to try and kill the child (Revelation 12:13-16). Herod was not threatened by Jesus because he likely wouldn’t have lived to see the child come of age and reign as king. It was Satan, influencing Herod, that led to the senseless slaughter of the male boys two years and younger. Satan believed he could maintain his authority over the kingdoms of this world if he killed Jesus. Like Goliath who came at David with the same sword that David eventually used to kill him—Satan came at Jesus with death on multiple occasions, and when he was finally successful at the cross, Jesus used death to destroy him who had the power of death.
The cross event set into motion the “housecleaning” mentioned in our text. God is going to sweep this present evil world of all the demons and fallen beings that vex this world day by day. Moreover, all the people who worship and serve these demons will also face the broom of destruction. Swept out of this world like the Holy Spirit sweeps and garnishes the hearts of a person once demon-possessed. He will clean it up and make it ready for His possession.
Be encouraged, dear saints! Break forth and cheer all ye people! For the devil and his angels are on borrowed time (so to speak). God is preparing His broom! He will come forth with the armies of Heaven who once cast them out of Heaven to finally finish the job and cast them into the lake of fire—never to trouble humankind again. The “city of Babylon” that Satan has spent thousands of years building–turning humankind away from their Creator–will be brought to total annihilation. What a glorious day of rejoicing that will be. We will rejoice evermore (Revelation 18:18ff). Amen.