Revelation – Living in Babylon

David focused today on Revelation 18, which describes the fall/ultimate destruction of Babylon. Babylon is not a literal or particular place but represents any and every place, nation, empire, environment, culture than opposes God, His ways and His people. It is characterised by idolatry, excessive consumption, greed, oppression etc. Babylon is personified as a woman in chapter 17 and as we learn of her destruction, this tells us more about her attributes and how we can become wiser to her presence/influence.
In verse 3 we discover the reason for the fall of Babylon:

“FOR ALL THE NATIONS HAVE DRUNK THE MADDENING WINE OF HER ADULTERIES. THE KINGS OF THE EARTH COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER, AND THE MERCHANTS OF THE EARTH GREW RICH FROM HER EXCESSIVE LUXURIES.”

The whole world is corrupted, including 3 key groups: all nations, political leaders and the business/commerce world. We have the opportunity to discover and discern the warnings about the judgement of Babylon so we can avoid falling into her seductive trap (sexual immorality, ungodly leadership, greed-driven business etc) before it is too late.
David highlighted the specific instruction to the people of God:

“COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT SHARE IN HER SINS, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY OF HER PLAGUES.”

We are called to be separate, not physically but spiritually, from the ways of the world and not entertain immorality. How can we avoid this temptation to conform to what the world offers? Avoid materialistic values, pride, sexual immorality and a self-centred attitude, and be discerning in our involvement with carriers of our culture of contemporary Babylon (eg mass media, internet) to avoid being shaped by this world. David quoted the Apostle John:

“DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. IF ANYONE LOVES THE WORLD, LOVE FOR THE FATHER IS NOT IN THEM. FOR EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD – THE LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE – COMES NOT FROM THE FATHER BUT FROM THE WORLD.”

In verse 8 Babylon is ultimately destroyed:

“SHE WILL BE CONSUMED BY FIRE, FOR MIGHTY IS THE LORD GOD WHO JUDGES HER.”

God is powerfully in control and as judge of the earth He does what is right. David went on to describe that the 3 groups who profited from Babylon mourned her, but also kept their distance so as to not suffer the same fate. This provides insight to the influence and power Babylon has over society at all levels. However, David highlighted that the people of God in heaven celebrate the end of her evil reign and injustice. One day Babylon will face ultimate judgement and a brand new city – the city of God – will take centre stage.

Reflection:
David highlighted an important message to Christians with this passage that we should be in the world, but not of it. Think about how we can avoid temptation of worldly desires and stay close to God.

Naomi Adams

Naomi Adams

Hi, I'm Naomi and I have been coming to Windsor for the last couple of years. I work in clinical research, but enjoy spending my spare time keeping active and can often be found in a coffee shop!
Naomi Adams
Hi, I'm Naomi and I have been coming to Windsor for the last couple of years. I work in clinical research, but enjoy spending my spare time keeping active and can often be found in a coffee shop!