And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen…
Revelation 14:8 KJV
There is such a thing as an evil empire. History has shown us that despicable kingdoms can exist, that vicious and heartless powers can rule.
Examples quickly come to mind—those who systematically rounded up Jews for extermination qualify for our list of evil. Then we think of the purges in Russia and China that brought death to so many thousands.
We have seen a sinister type of evil that uses its position to torture others. American POWs have been on the receiving end of that.
We don’t forget that.
Neither could the Jews in the first century forget that the Babylonians had once smashed through their defenses, destroyed the Lord’s temple, slaughtered innocent people—and dragged many off to live out their lives as captives in a foreign land.
We hear the bitterness of those captives in their psalm of lament:
“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—
he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks” (Psalm 137:8,9).
The bitterness seared Israeli hearts.
Babylon was a world power, seemingly invincible, with its capital a little north of Baghdad. For Israel of old, it represented the embodiment of evil.
Yet, far in advance of its downfall, the prophet, Isaiah, announced, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!”
It was not a false claim. It was merely given before it absolutely would happen. Babylon fell overnight. The new Persian king freed the captives and let them go home if they wanted to.
It’s no wonder that centuries later, “Babylon” came to symbolize all the enemies of God’s people for all time, with Satan as its head.
No surprise then that the great evil empire’s destruction is announced in advance—just as ancient Babylon’s fall was.
The holy, powerful God has spoken. The angel in the book of Revelation can announce: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” The kingdom of evil is fallen. Thus, the Lord God has decreed.
But we don’t see that when we look out through our window on the world. The kingdom of evil seems to show itself alive and well—and growing.
Families are falling apart. Children are being raised without a moral compass. Modern technology has speeded up the spread of falsehood and filth.
The number of people that say there is no God or that God is not relevant is increasing.
Murder is on the rise. Rejection of Christian values is mounting.
God is openly disrespected—even in the land that declares, “In God We Trust.”
Each year it only seems to be getting worse.
Thus, we need to hear the true state of affairs. The announcement from heaven is: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.”
The death knell of evil was sounded when the Son of God called out, “It is finished!”
When Jesus descended into hell after coming back to life, it was not to endure suffering. It was his victory lap in the arena of the damned. The war had been won. Only mopping up remains.
Warriors know about the dangers during mopping-up actions. The defeated can still kill. Likewise, Christians need to watch out lest they be laid low by Satan’s spiritual IEDs and snipers that aim to kill saving faith.
We have not yet left the battlefield. We have not been told to “Stand down!” Not yet. OPSEC must be maintained. We must stay alert.
But there is no doubt about Babylon, that kingdom of evil.
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen.”
It is fallen indeed!
Prayer: Lord of glory and Savior of mankind, the power of the forces of evil sometimes seems overwhelming. Remind us of the true state of affairs. Point out to us that you have already gained the victory for us, and evil will finally fail. Keep us safe until then. Keep us faithful. Amen.
Written by Rev. Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.
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