Babylon is the city and power, spiritually, militarily and politically, spoken against in the Bible. Its history as recorded details a concerted attempt to oppose the Yahweh and His purposes. Genesis 10:8-12 and 11:1-9. This city became the foundation and the fountain-head of the occult. Isaiah and Jeremiah have strong word to say about and against Nimrod’s creation. The book of Revelation lays plain Yahweh’s wrath and judgement stored up for a coming day.
Why is the Lord so implacable towards Babylon? It is more than its opposition to the person of Yahweh, for such can be forgiven. The issue is expressed through personalising the city’s boast. Such inflammatory words became a declaration of war. Isaiah 47:8 ‘Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, “I AM, and there is none beside me…” (Nineveh had same spirit ‘she said to herself, “I AM, and there is none besides me”’ Zephaniah 2:15). To use the words ‘I am’ in such a way is to claim the untouchable Name. It is to challenge the legitimacy of the Lord God’s right to be God alone.
We become aware of God’s unique, untouchable Name in His call to Moses at the burning bush. ‘God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM:” and he said, “Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel I AM has sent me to you.”’ Exodus 3:14. Here also is His framework for the Covenant the Almighty made with Israel, for it is bound up in His Name. In giving to the Nation (and through them to us) the Ten Commandments God stresses ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.’ Exodus 20:7.
Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5) not only takes Yahweh’s Name in vain, it wants to, plans to, and will fight to claim it. That is why the Scriptures are so loud in their call for people to get out of this city. Its defeat and doom is spelt out in Yahweh’s word. To ignore such a call is to share in the consequences of the judgement.
The Eternal’s defence of His untouchable Name has implications for Jesus. It is recorded, especially in the Gospel by John that the Man of Galilee lay claim to being ‘I AM’. His use of such terms as ‘I am the Bread of Life’ or ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ may seem unthreatening, however, there is no getting away from John 8:58. ‘Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.”’ To His disciples in John 13:19 He makes a similar claim. In the Greek it reads “From now I tell you before it happens, that you may believe when it happens I AM.” Then in Gethsemane when Judas and soldiers came to capture Jesus He twice mentioned that He was ‘I AM’. On the second occasion the soldiers fell backwards and tumbled over.
Now how do we as followers of Jesus Christ know he isn’t on the same trajectory of judgement as Babylon? Have we sure and certain evidence that His claim is valid? Here is where the battle ground of faith is fought. The Bethlehem Baby, the Calvary Christ, is He the Son of God and the ‘I AM’? If so how do we know? By His resurrection from the dead! His claim is vindicated as well as His mission of redemption. Once again we are confronted by the words of Thomas in the upper room when he said “My Lord and My God.”
The untouchable Name will have no rivals. Nor will it allow those who take it in vain or pollute its holiness escape discipline and loss of reward. I AM is the unique revelation of our eternal God and the wonderful, wonderful and amazing fact is, by faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour, we honour that Name (Philippians 2:10-11). In it we are baptized according to Matthew 28:19; Go...teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…’
©Ray Hawkins 27th July 2015