Thus said the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire…
I. THE EMPIRE OF SIN HAS SUCH WALLS. Those referred to here may be taken as a type of them. They were:
1. To separate. Have we not proof of this in the wide distance, the invincible barriers, Which keep the ungodly from sympathizing, associating, or in any way uniting, with the people of God? The kingdom of evil remains shut up from the kingdom of God. Mansoul cannot be entered by way of the gates; the messengers of the King seek admission, but cannot obtain it. And hereafter the Reparation will continue (cf. Luke 16., "Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed"). Separation, which is voluntary now, becomes involuntary then.
2. For security. A terrible security it is. In vain do the ambassadors of God endeavour to penetrate within those walls. In vain do his soldiers seek to scale them and his weapons of war to destroy them. The strong man armed keepeth his goods in peace. What minister of Christ has not again and again retired baffled from before these broad walls, so high, so strong, so impregnable?
3. For enjoyment. The broad walls of cities such as Babylon were places for pleasant walking for recreation and enjoyment. So does the sinner's fancied security lull his soul to rest, make him cry, "Peace, peace!" when there is no peace. But -
II. THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS ITS BROAD WALLS. (cf. Nehemiah 3:8, where we read of the broad walls of Jerusalem.) Let us see to it that we maintain and preserve those walls.
1. For separation. Let us not seek to come close to the world, in its habits, maxims, spirit, behaviour. Keep the wall broad, strong: high. We cannot serve God and mammon. Let there be no attempt at compromise. And these walls are also.
2. For security. If we do not maintain them we run great risk for ourselves. Tampering with sin is perilous work. And let us not think that we are more likely to win the world by such breaking down of the broad walls. The result is all the other way. See how broad a wall Christ maintained between himself and the world. God has built these walls. His power, his wisdom, his love, his promise, are all portions of these walls by which his Church is guarded and against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
3. For enjoyment. What comfort there is in the thought of them, of the sure defence, the wall of fire, which God will be to his people! And on these walls, as we "walk about Zion, and go round her, and tell the towers thereof," what rest, what communion one with another, and what bright prospects are ours! The broad walls of Babylon shall be "broken down;" but these are eternal. Are we within them? - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.
WEB: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.