The Bible shows that God has a pattern of throwing His people right into the heart of the fire, so to speak, at important junctures in history, or we might say right into the heart of the issues that pertain to His purpose. He does this primarily for His glorification, as a witness, and for our preparation. He forces us to confront challenges we might otherwise withdraw or run from.

He did it with Noah and the Flood. He did it when Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. He did it with Joseph in Egypt, with Moses and the Israelites in the Exodus from Egypt and their pilgrimage through the wilderness. He did it with Daniel in the lions' den, and literally with these three men in the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar.

We find ourselves living in the end-time Babylon grown to the greatest extent of its evil, anti-God influence. We are confronted by the fact that His people of old came through their trials because God delivered them. Now we are commanded to "come out of Babylon." However, this is no longer literally possible, because it is a worldwide, organized system. We can still come out of it spiritually by resisting it, not allowing it to influence our decision making and therefore our conduct and our attitude.

We have read of the encouraging victories of God in behalf of His people. But we also have read of the evidence of Israel's weaknesses and failure, and it helps for us to understand their weaknesses, because we are cut from the same cloth.