The final downfall of Babylon the Great is spread across numerous chapters of the Revelation of John. This is fitting because Babylon has been the metaphorical and literal enemy of God’s people for hundreds of years. Babylon was the source of the greatest exile the Kingdom of Judah ever knew. When it swept in and conquered an area, it not only defeated their military, it deported the brightest and the best of its people, absorbing them into its culture, and then replaced these people with foreigners, diluting and eventually destroying the very cultural foundation of the defeated nation. In this way, Babylon not only defeated the nation, it destroyed it forever.
Israel survived because of God’s hand in returning a pure remnant from the exiles deported to Babylon. This remnant returned and reinstated Jewish culture. But not before Babylon was labeled the Great Harlot, the Great Enemy. And so as we approach the end of the bible, it is fitting that we should see a protracted look at the end of Babylon the Great.
But not only was Babylon the literal enemy of Israel, it became the metaphorical enemy of everything Yahweh in the world. This passage from Revelation about the downfall of Babylon is not just about the fall of the Empire, but the fall of all things “not-Yahweh”. Satan, the final battle, all humans standing opposed to God’s ways, all are part of Babylon the Great, and all fall before the coming of Yahweh.
This is what we have to look forward to. This is the future, folks. If you don’t believe it, then you don’t believe scripture and you have to ask, “on what am I basing any of my beliefs?” If you do believe it, then take heart for this is the fall of all we stand against in this world. This is the fall of hatred and bigotry, of lies and gossip, of murder and slavery, of torture and abuse, of selfish motives and egocentric thinking. This is the end of anything that is not Shalom, not “the way it’s supposed to be,” the way of Yahweh.