Using the model I spoke of earlier for Helel being the former “Worship leader” in the heavens, it will be profitable to investigate a little further. Helel, we are told, “fell from heaven.” The Alexandrian writer Origen said this about “Lucifer” in the Isa.14 passage –
“And what is said in many places, and especially in Isaiah, of Nebuchadnezzar, cannot be explained of that individual. For the man Nebuchadnezzar neither fell from heaven, nor was he the morning star, nor did he arise upon the earth in the morning.”
(Deprincipiis, Bk. IV.i.22)
This was the common view of Christian writers in the early days of Christianity. And this is why I adopted the “Photographic overlay” model to understand this prophecy. Clearly there are two beings referred to in Isa.14, one, Nebuchadnezzar, the human king of Babylon, and the other an invisible but powerful being acting on the human king, to sway him into undesirable ways. In Jer. 51:53 we read, “Though Babylon were to mount up to heaven, and though she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the LORD. This sounds a bit like the tower of Babel. The earthly king is being mentally forced into worshipping himself as a result of his labours. Remember what Nebuchadnezzar said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Dan.4:30) Helel had achieved his dastardly end, and the king paid for it by 7 years of strange bestial life-style.
Turning now to the “red text” in Isa.14:13-14, we find that Helel was highly indignant at being thrown out of heaven, and declared “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” But this is exactly what he had “promised” Adam and Eve. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen.3:5)
But Helel was dispatched from the heights of heaven, and my suggestion is that his sin was that of increasingly creaming off some of the worship intended only for God. His role as a Worship Leader was corrupted. He became a “Middle Man”, fostering the impressions he gave, and enjoying the adulation of heavenly beings. Notice the similarity between Helel and Nebuchadnezzar in this respect.
The lesson I wanted to bring out of this passage is therefore addressed to all modern Worship Leaders. The ease with which they can fall into Helel’s trap of self-worship is great. I have just had the privilege of speaking to a friend who has been the worship leader of a local church for some years, and he gave me an account of his heart-searching based on the fact that he was the focus of attention each Sunday. He indicated that it took spiritual courage to prevent pride from destroying him. Yes, music is important. Yes, praise and worship are important. Who knows that better than Helel? Therefore we must pray for our worship leaders in their important role in fellowship.
How different to Helel was our Lord Jesus, who lowered Himself from heaven to become a man, a servant, and subject to death. (Phil.2) As a result God highly exalted Him. Jesus is our supreme example to follow.