Babylon was the city, Babylonia was the nation, one of the greatest recorded in history. Although by many accounts, the name Babylon was synonymous with Babylonia and was also used to name the Nation. We will also use the name Babylon to include both the city and the nation. Its ruins can be found in Babil Province in Iraq, about 50 miles south of Baghdad.
Babylon was a nation that conquered other nations. It traded and had many ports. Babylon was considered the largest city in the world from 1770 to 1670 BC and 612 to 320BC during the time of the Old Testament prophets. Babylon in its day ruled the world and its influence could be felt in conquest and in trade. Its ruler, King Nebuchadnezzar was evil and ruthless. He conquered Israel and sent its people into exile. Although, King Nebuchadnezzar was ordained by God to punish Israel, King Nebuchadnezzar took his authority too far by destroying Solomon’s temple where the arc of the covenant resided, and killing countless Jews in the process. This incited God’s anger and God gave a prophetic decree for Babylon through the mouth of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51 give a very detailed description of what was going to happen to Babylon because of its sins against God and Israel. Our nation has also many sins counted against it. Much is captured in our history, but much of it we don’t know. As regular citizens, we are not privy to a number of events and engagements done around the world in the name of the United States. In our most recent history, as many as 100,000 innocent people died in the conflict with Iraq. But you won’t hear this in the news. We only heard about fallen American soldiers which was nearly 4,500 as of the summer of 2009. However, God knows everything that happens behind closed doors. He knows what’s discussed and the orders carried out around the world that will never make it in the news rooms.
Are we a nation so bad that we would be compared to Babylon, whose escapades are well known in history? The answer I hear is ‘Yes’. The United States of America was blessed by God to be a blessing for the rest of the world. We were meant to be an example of how God can bless a nation for worshiping Him and only Him. But we have fallen away from God. We have replaced our faith with intellectualism, and idolatry. We have made it so that we are afraid to pray in public, and we are quickly pulling God out of our legal system, forcing people to choose between the law of the land and God’s laws. W are a nation that was founded in His name so God cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening. For to do so would make God look foolish. And He is not that. He is sovereign and He is righteous. So if He says the United States is like Babylon, then I will not question His judgment. My questions are only for clarity so that I can say what He would have me to say in His name.
The Old Testament talks about the physical capture of Israel, God’s people. How they were taken into captivity, brutally murdered and raped. But God’s people in the United States have also been taken captive. We have become spiritual captives to the world system; Caught up in a system with no escape. God’s people have cried out to Him for relief from their discomfort and there have been many spiritual deaths in this country. While in captivity, Israel was heavily influenced by Babylon’s culture and began to incorporate Babylonian culture into their lives in addition to worshiping idols. Israel also began mingling with the Babylonians and married out of their faith. This further diluted Israel’s culture and weakened their foundation of faith.
As Christian’s we have become so ingrained with the world system that many of us no longer know the difference between the world system and God’s system. There are many who are worshiping the false god thinking they are worshiping the true God. Christian faith has become so diluted that many people don’t really know the difference, and so are being deceived.
But God is looking for a change in our perspective so that we can be set free from the chains that bind us. He is calling us to open our eyes and to look up out of our situation to seek His face so that His grace can shine on us and give us clarity of sight and faith in the days to come.
Flee out of the midst of Babylon! Let every man save his life! Let not destruction come upon you through her [punishment for] sin and guilt. For it is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He will render to her a recompense. (Jer 51:6, Amplified)
In this scripture, the Lord was warning Israel to leave Babylon before God’s judgment. Today, God wants us to separate ourselves from the world system. This is not necessarily a literal command, but one in terms of our thinking, our perspective, our paradigm. Our decisions concerning ourselves and our families must be made from a kingdom perspective, not a worldly perspective. We have failed our commandment and have become like the world and held captive by her.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.(Romans 12:12, NKJV).
In our natural world, when a person is held captive, there is usually a struggle and much determination to gain freedom. Doors are rarely flung open giving us the ability to just walk into freedom. Instead, we escape, which in itself implies effort. While slavery was still legal in our country, many slaves escaped to the north to gain freedom. It took perseverance, and determination. It is this kind of action that is also needed to remove oneself from the world system and enter into God’s system; perseverance and determination.