Revelation 18 is a continuation of the narrative in chapter 17. In these chapters, Babylon is personified as a woman. The system of evil controlled by the Antichrist is equated to a prostitute. Do you remember what we learned last week in Revelation 17? Two cities are prominent in Revelation. The New Jerusalem represents the city of God and the center of His Kingdom. Babylon represents the man-made and sinful systems that will ultimately fail.
Two women are also prominent in Revelation. The woman who courageously gives birth to the Savior in Revelation 12, and the prostitute who seduces the world with evil in Revelation 17. These two women and two cities continue a pattern throughout Revelation: Judgment and
salvation. Revelation is the story of how God ultimately ends the evil caused by sin and brings His children into His eternal kingdom.
In Revelation 18, the term “great city” is used multiple times to describe Babylon. The phrase refers to the pervasiveness of sin. The great city has fallen. Babylon represents the convergence of power among many nations into one all-encompassing evil system of political, religious, and economic power. Satan directs the Antichrist (the beast of the sea in Revelation 13) to lead this system. The Antichrist is supported by the false prophet (the beast of the earth), and together, they pursue evil like one who lusts and pursues a prostitute.
This evil system persecutes believers and murders God’s people. Followers of Christ are slaughtered all over the world. But God defeats the evil. The prostitute (the system of evil, Babylon) is completely consumed by fire, for the Lord who judges her is mighty. What happens to her? What happens to evil? Take a moment and read Revelation 18:21-24.
- She is destroyed. (verse 21)
- No one rejoices over her. (verse 22)
- Babylon cannot be rebuilt or recovered. (verse 23)
- Babylon cannot be redeemed. (verse 24)
Desiring greatness apart from God is one of the hardest ways to fall. On Sunday, we will learn
more about how Babylon in Revelation connects with the Tower of Babylon in Genesis. Onward
to Sunday, church!