In this verse, and other verses in Revelation (Rev 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 18:10, 18:21), we find the kingdoms of Satan described as “Babylon”. One of the most important keys to understanding the relationship between Babylon and the kingdoms of Satan can be found in the account of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9). It was this event that marks the beginning of the kingdom of Babylon.
The relationship between Babylon and Satan’s kingdoms centers upon the motives behind the building of the tower which are reflected throughout the history of the kingdom of Babylon. Note the following verses that are taken from the Tower of Babel account:
Gen 11:1,4 – “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech… And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
In these verses, we are told that mankind, prior to the tower incident, spoke the same language and dialect. This allowed them to be a unified group of men who could clearly communicate with one other. In all likelihood, this would have fostered a spirit of oneness between them giving them the ability to achieve many great accomplishments, a sense of security, and a heart filled with pride at all they had accomplished. This basic principles seem to be born out in Gen 11:4.
In verse four, we can see the two great prideful motives at work in the building of their tower:
- a desire to remain unified – “lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth”
By building a tower that reached high in the clouds, they would be able to see it from great distances on the earth. This would allow them to have a universal meeting place, allowing them to retain their unity, security, and strength while spreading out and traveling great distances upon the globe.
- a desire to be exalted in their own eyes – “let us make us a name”
By building such a tremendous feat of engineering (an incredibly tall ornate tower) it would be a display of their great strength, abilities, and knowledge. They would become famous among the people throughout the generations, thus creating a lasting name for themselves.
Put another way, the Babylon empire was based upon selfishness, pride, and humanism… so too, the kingdom of Satan….
Satan’s fall was the direct result of His prideful, rebellious, selfish attitude, as he desired the worship, praise and honor deserved by God alone. Those who are members of his kingdoms share in these three same life characteristics… They refuse to submit to their Creator and Lord, which is an issue of selfishness and pride. Also, they believe they can better themselves, better society and avoid the results of their sinful condition through their good works and self-reformation, these beliefs are prideful and represent humanism at its finest.
These similarities between the beginning of Babylon and the basis of Satan’s kingdom is one of the great reasons why the kingdoms of this world are described as “Babylon” and “Mystery Babylon”.
As Christians, may we all see our need to flee from these “Babel” characteristics (pride, selfishness, and humanism) that are commonly seen in the lives of the lost around us. In opposition to these, may we seek to live holy lives that bear the fruits of the Spirit in the eyes of all around us. In doing so, we will be showing the characteristics that were seen in the life of our Lord, which lie in direct opposition to the characteristics seen in the life of Satan.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: