What is Babylon?
“And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird...And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues:”
Revelation 18:2, 4 ASV
Why does the Bible have so much to say about Babylon? What does this city represent in Bible prophecy? To answer these questions, let us start by asking, what was Babylon historically?
The Tower of Babel described in Genesis gives us our first clues as to what this infamous city represents. After the flood, Noah and his descendants began repopulating the earth. It was not long before evil again gained a foothold in the hearts of men. In a united act of defiance against heaven a magnificent tower was devised. The rainbow of promise which God created to testify of his love for mankind and his promise to never again flood the earth was ignored. Men decided to take their destiny into their own hands and build a tower which would testify to their greatness and protect them from any future calamity.
God in his mercy and wisdom intervened to stem the tide of evil during the creation of this tower. Through the confusion of language and the destruction of the tower, God dispersed men throughout the earth effectively extended probation for the human race by thwarting the designs of evil. The tower which was intended to glorify man in defiance of God became a dramatic illustration of the opposite. Babel's memory has become a testament to the confusion which ensues when the pride of man seeks to malign the character of God.
The next historical manifestation of Babel came through the establishment of a mighty kingdom. The rise to power of Babylon under the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar once again illustrated the same fundamental ideals which inspired the erection of the Tower of Babel. The pride of man setting itself up in defiance of God. It was to this ancient kingdom that God's chosen people were taken captive.
Because of its historical significance, prophecy uses Babylon to represent a man made system of worship whose power will culminate just before Christ returns to the earth a second time. The call to come out of Babylon is a call to humbly acknowledge the true righteous character of our creator. It is a call to renounce all human inspired avenues of salvation and to turn in faith to the one who paid the price for our sins in full with his own blood.
Jesus is calling, can you hear him? He is offering you peace and rest from the unbearable burden of atoning for your own guilt and shame. Only he can deliver you from the deep confusion of Babylon, from a system of thinking that leaves you desperately attempting the impossible. Pray for divine illumination that we might see our true condition and daily take the hand of the only one capable of leading us safely out of confusion and into his eternal kingdom.
Still Seeking His Face,