In Scripture, Babylon represents humanity organized in defiance of God.  In Isaiah 47, the prophet describes the humiliating destruction of Babylon.   The primary sin of Babylon was its “self-deification.” She sees herself as “queen of kingdoms” (v. 5), declaring, “‘I am forever – the eternal queen'” (v. 7).  Babylon implies its superiority when she declares, “I am, and there is none other” (v. 8).   Is this not the stance of certain governments in our world today?  

Isaiah prophesied the fall of Babylon more than 150 years before it happened.  At this time, Babylon had not yet emerged as the mightiest force on earth, an empire that would destroy Judah and Jerusalem, leading the Israelites into captivity for 70 years.   But the Babylonians would become captives themselves in 539 B.C.  God tells them, “Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms” (v. 5).  God will bring them to silence and turn out the lights.  Revelation declares, “the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again” (Rev. 18:21).  How will God deal with the nations of our day? 

I often think of Babylon when I behold present day world leaders appearing on the world stage in defiance of God.  I find myself crying out with the prophet Habakkuk, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Hab. 1:2).  The book of Revelation describes Babylon’s final defeat: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great!” (Rev. 18:2).  Those who had benefited from such a great empire were overwhelmed at its demise. “Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe, woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power!  In one hour, your doom has come!” (Rev. 18:10).

God had used Babylonians to deal with his own people, but they did not show any mercy. “I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy” (v. 7).  They felt very secure in saying, “I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.  [But] both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood” (v. 9).  “A catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you” (v. 10).  In the margin beside v. 10,  I noted in my Bible 8/6/14, USA today.   Could this happen to America?

Through the prophet, God exposes the delusional thinking that we are not accountable to our Creator.  “You were so confident and comfortable in your evil life, saying, ‘No one sees me.’  You thought you knew so much, had everything figured out.  What delusion!  Smugly telling yourself, ‘I’m Number One.  There’s nobody but me.’ Ruin descends – you can’t charm it away” (v. 10-11 – Message).  Could America be posturing in like manner today?

God even mocks their futile attempts, while warning of a disaster they will not be able to avoid. “So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away.  Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out.  A catastrophe will strike suddenly, one for which you are not prepared” (Is. 47:11 NLT). 

I wonder about God’s silence. “For a long time, I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I grasp and pant” (Is 42:14). Have we assumed God’s silence as his favor on our nation? Is God about to act?  I wonder!!!