The EIGHT mysteries of Babylon “on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” Rev 17: 5
A FOUR PART MYSTERY: Part 2 (See the previous post which discusses MYSTERIES NO. 1,2, 3: Where Is Babylon? Is She the Apostate Church? and What Does a Prostitute Symbolize in the Bible?)
MYSTERY NO. 4: WHY ARE THERE OVER 45 REFERENCES TO BABYLON’S LUXURIES? They include articles made of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, linen, silk, ivory, bronze, iron and marble, purple and scarlet cloths, fragrant wood, silk, spices, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, wine,olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, chariots…(Rev. 18: 11,12)
Follow the Money: We can hardly miss Babylon’s love affair with worldly riches. We know a prostitute symbolizes idolatry in the Bible. But where do we find idolatry in our modern world?
Babylon is Idolatry not Apostasy. Don’t be greedy, for greed is idolatry. (Col. 3:5) What is Babylon’s idolatry? It’s her lust for money, material possessions and selfish, extravagant living.
Is Loving Nice Things Idolatry? Paul teaches us that idolatry is not only bowing down to graven images. It’s also loving the things of this world more than God’s things. The devil is crafty and subtle. He tempts us with the cares of this world—our needs and wants. He seeks to leads us into the kingdom of thingdom and out of God’s kingdom. As we shall see the idolatry of greed leads to fearful and terrible consequences.
Babylon is Mamon. “You can’t be loyal to two masters. You are bound to hate one and love the other, or support one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and financial gain (Mammon).” Matt 6:24 Jesus’ warned of the grave spiritual risks of loving riches. God holiness is deeply offended by Babylon’s excesses. Mammon and God cannot coexist This spirit of wanton greed leads to many kinds of evils, as revealed by the apostle Paul.
MYSTERY NO. 5: IN WHAT WAY IS BABYLON A MOTHER?
The love of money is the source of all kinds of evil. (1 Tim. 6:10) She is mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots. (Rev. 17:5)
Paul singles out greed as the single greatest source of evil. A mother begets children and Babylon does too. She is the mother or source of many forms of greed in the earth. One of her daughters could be the billions merchants spend on advertising, an insidious force that promotes a lustful appetite to consume more and more of their finest stuff. But she has many more children.
”Thou shalt not covet” Exodus 20: 17
Covetousness. Babylon’s guilt lies more in transgressing the 10th commandment than the 7th.
We’ve heard sermons on many kinds of sins, but have you heard one on the 10th commandment? It may be the most ignored and least understood of all the God’s commands to Moses. The Greek word for covet is epithumeo: to set one’s heart on, to long for, desire or lust for a thing or person.”
This is the first thing Satan tempted Jesus with on the mount. Our Lord needed food. He was hungry and God provided for him, but in His time and in his way. If Jesus had taken his daily bread via Satan’s route, he would have fallen into the devils snare. Coveting is serious. It not only breaks the 10th, but also the first and second commandments: (1) To have no other gods beside the Lord God and (2) Not to worship graven images.
Another Child of Babylon is Stinginess. When we long for more or worry about whether we will have enough, we naturally put ourselves first. God and others get leftovers, though he has asked for our first fruits not our last. When we carelessly live for this life’s cares and indulgences, we rob God, but we also rob ourselves of the joy of giving.
Jesus described only one soul who suffered hell’s torment. His sin was stinginess. This rich man, like Babylon, was clothed in purple. He indulged himself with fine dining, fine apparel and high living. He was so absorbed enjoying his life, he became immune to the suffering of others, including Lazarus, the poor man at his gate. This disciple of Babylon cared so little for the needs of others, that Jesus singled him out as suffering the consequences. (Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16: 19-31]