Daniel 1:1-“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.”

Revelation 14:8- “And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”
Revelation 16:19 “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. “

Babylon

“Babylon” is a colorway that I’ve had to personally wrestle with. A while back, I did a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Daniel. That book challenged me in ways I had not thought was possible. I had an opportunity to evaluate my life and what I was living for. A lot of this part of my blog will be coming from what Beth had to say.

Ancient Babylon. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Wondrous! Beautiful! Marvelous! I picture from a distance, the tan of the stone work, with lush greenery everywhere. It was a sight to behold. People from miles around flocked to Babylon to see it’s beauty.

Beth Moore says about Babylon, on page 10 of the Daniel Bible study book, “Through the paintbrush of Scripture, we’ll see her rise from the dust , robe herself in riches, and paint her face like a woman of the night. Make no mistake: she aims to seduce. Posing as the beautiful life, she morphs into the current image of what every worldly man and woman wants to be- deserves to be. She is popular. She is desirable. She is intoxicating. And did I say she is religious? Ah, yes. She believes in so much of everything that one would be hard-pressed to tell if she believes in any thing. To worship self is to worship her. To worship her is to worship her king. She is dressed for success, but underneath her gaud, she is a lifeless mannequin. A fake. A poser. Her prop is the devil himself.”

Her walls were thick. She was a formidable sight. Gold, women, she had it all. “Somewhere along the way, she ceased to be only a place. She became a mentality. A deadly one.” The verse in Isaiah sums it up perfectly. Isaiah 47:8, 10- “I am, and there is none besides me.”

You can see just a glimpse of what she was like by looking at Daniel’s story. Daniel 1:3-4 states, “Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. ”

So what was their standard? They wanted men from well to do families, the upper class if you will. AND then, they had to be perfect physically and good looking, AND smart, AND able to stand in the king’s palace.

When I first heard this, I thought about our culture today. How so many American will have a amniocentesis and abort a baby if it’s not “perfect”. How people go crazy following the rich and famous. How rampant eating disorders are in the country, especially among young women. How our society is about wanting more, and more and more- and so much less about giving. How everyone wants to keep up with the Jones’s.

Our society is a constant indoctrination of things that go against the Christian ideals. Youth, Appearance, Educational achievements, Social status. The billboards, the magazines, the news, the movies. It’s all about “Me” and what I “need” and “deserve”. I guess I hadn’t realized how much our culture is like that of ancient Babylon. Beth said on the companion video that went along with our study, “If you are not doing EVERYTHING you can to not be incodtroniated by the culture, the you are being indoctrinated. ”

That’s why Christianity can be so difficult at times. It’s going against the grain. Much like the salmon who swims upstream, we as Christians are challenged to live a different life. For Jesus says in Matthew 7 :13- “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

It is so easy to be a part of the culture. It is so easy to want the things that this world has to offer. And, yet, the things of this earth will continually disappoint us. We’ll never have enough money to be satisfied. We’ll never be young enough or skinny enough. We’ll never be perfect. Yet, Jesus promises us we have so much more in store.

Jesus says in Matthew 13: 24- 30″ He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” Then He explains what He meant by it in Matthew 13:37- 43- “He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Satan is very real. He has very real plans for you and I. While God has plans for us to have future and a hope and to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) And there is a big battle that will ensure.

Yet according to the parable above, God has given us an opportunity to grow where we are planted. Satan may come and plant weeds. But God is going to allow the wheat to grow and it will be separated at harvest time (the judgment of the Lord.)

The book of Revelation refers to another Babylon. She will be seducing to the End. I am quoting the “People’s New Testament” Commentary on Revelation 16:8-9 regarding the fall of Babylon. “There followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen. As a result of the great gospel revival shown in verses 6, 7, the city of sin, here called Babylon, but called “spiritually Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (11:8) shall fall. The wine of wrath of her fornication. This Babylon was a city of fornication, of unholy alliance with the world, wedded to the prince of this world instead of to Christ, and made the nations sin with her, or drink her wine. Wine of wrath. So called either because her wrath was manifested in persecution against those who refused to drink, or because the wine of God’s wrath shall be poured on her (see verse 10).”
She is destined to fall. And her fall will be great. And God’s wrath on her will be great.

See, God is just and holy. He CANNOT tolerate sin. And this Babylon not only sinned, she enticed oh so many others to do it with her. My challenge for you today is to really think about what it is you value. Are you putting value in the things of the world? The things that will never satisfy and that will burn up in the end? Or are you putting your value in the eternal things? The things that will bring glory and honor to the Lord?

I pray that those of you who read this may understand how great and mighty our God is. And I pray for you the resolve to stand up against “modern Babylon.”

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