Have you ever desired to finally rest, have freedom and all the peace? This could be what most of us desire. Now life in Babylon features the exact opposite and I have always found it thrilling to hear of its stories. Ancient Babylon is known to have had a unique life. Class wasn’t rigid in Babylonian society. The authority would tickle from the king and his royal line, then to the chief priests and priestesses of the many temples dedicated to Babylonian gods. However, among the people, there was movement between the landowning class and commoners who didn’t own land. Slavery was the talk of the day. Some born in slavery or even purchased. Religion also had its course with the worship of idols being rampant. Babylonians worshiped a large pantheon of gods and goddesses who were paraded on the roads during festive seasons.
Biblically, Babylon is mentioned right from the book of Genesis. It is in the book of Daniel, we encounter a group of faithful Jews taken into exile when Jerusalem was conquered. So arrogant was Nebuchadnezzar that he had a 90-foot tall gold statue built of himself and commanded everyone to worship it. Amazingly, he threatened them that they would die if they wouldn’t worship his handmade god in Daniel 3. This comes shortly after him confessing that “Truly, your God is God of gods and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries…” Dan 2: 47. So forgetful of him! They, (Daniel, Meshack and Abednego) were fine if the Lord saved them or not. It was worth dying rather that bowing down to an idol.
It is here in Babylon that the Lord would allow the Israelites be taken into captivity. Away from the comfort of Jerusalem, the house of God. Away from the freedom and the tranquility that they would long for.
Does it matter today?
Living in Babylon is just like living in any part of this broken world. Be it in London, Hawaii(with lovely beaches), Paris, Borabora islands, Nairobi or even Texas, to mention just but a few places one would dream of being. The brokenness could range from endless injustices, murder, corruption, oppression and imprisonment without trial to being ill and bedridden and all sorts of accidents.
How then do we live in Babylon when we desire to be in Jerusalem?
- It is by believing in Jesus Christ through whom we will be part of the New Jerusalem.
- Holding fast to the promises of God- that he will setup an everlasting kingdom. “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever…” Daniel 2:44.
- Turn our focus from the brokenness of this world to the sovereign God who in his power will fulfill his word.
- To stand firm in Christ even when faced with difficult decisions to make.