Sweep the Broom

Bible Reading: Isaiah 13:1-22; 14:1-23, 28-32; 21:1-10

Isaiah prophesied judgment against Israel's enemy, Babylon, and its arrogant king. Some scholars believe that this also speaks against Satan and his forces of evil. The fallen king that Isaiah wrote about is filled with pride, has "fallen from heaven," has been "cast down to the earth," and aspires to "raise his throne above the stars of God" and make himself "like the Most High." He strikes people down with "unceasing blows," and subdues nations with "relentless aggression." Babylon is used to picture the mother of evil in Revelations 17-18.

Most of us will never fight against an army of men, but we do fight against "the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil" (Eph. 6:12). Satan, the king of evil, tries to cut us down with lies, deception, doubts and self-defeat. He may attack on any front: mental, emotional, spiritual, or even physical. When he rises against us, we can ask God to break his control over us, just as he broke the tyranny of the king of Babylon:

Lord, give me "relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage" by the forces of evil (14:3). "Break the rod of the wicked and the scepter of the ruler" of darkness used against me (14:5). Shield me from Satan's blows and "bring to an end all the groaning he has caused" (21:2). "Sweep him away with the broom of destruction" (14:23). Sweep clean every corner of my mind, will and emotions, until I am totally free from any evil control and manipulation. Equip me with your strong armor of truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, and your mighty weapons of prayer, scripture and the Holy Spirit, which are powerful and effective against my enemy (Eph. 6:13-18; 2 Cor. 10:4-5).

Keep me on the "lookout" for Satan's snare, "fully alert" to his tricks and deception (21:7-8). "Day after day, my Lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post" (21:8). Remind me, when I see my enemy coming, that I don't have to fight alone. You're the one who gives me the strength to fight; you're the one who swings the instruments of destruction at my enemy. Sometimes you even fight the battle for me, asking me just to stand firm in faith and wait for your deliverance. I can conquer my enemy only through you, the one who loves me (Rom. 8:37). Grasping your greatness, let me "see" and "stare at" how pitiful and weak Satan really is, and "ponder his fate: 'Is this the one who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble?'" (14:6). When I focus on you, however, let me be "at rest and at peace" and "break into singing"! (14:7)