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Revelation 14: Corrupting Others

Revelation 14 begins speaking about Babylon. I know that some people view Babylon as being literally rebuilt and fallen, and some people will not take it as the literal city but more as a symbol. However, regardless of your perspective, look at what we learn about it.

Rev 14:8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Let’s try to get a picture of the imagery here. Babylon has a cup full of wine. The wine is incredibly evil. Babylon has made other nations drink from that cup. Babylon is being punished.

This makes me think of the Garden of Eden. Satan convinced Eve to take the fruit from the tree. Eve and later Adam should not have done that. They should not have taken a drink from the cup to extend the metaphor. Obviously, they were punished for breaking the law of God, but Satan was punished as well for his role in the activity kind of like the way that Babylon is being punished here.

This of course raises questions about responsibility. It is wrong to lead someone to do something wrong even if you do not do it yourself. Babylon we know whether literal or metaphorical is a symbol of wickedness. However, in this particular passage, they are not being condemned for their own wickedness specifically. They are being condemned here specifically because they also corrupted those around them. Satan was evil before Adam and Eve fell, but he was specifically condemned in the relevant passage in Genesis for causing the corruption of Adam and Eve.

Of course, that raises questions for you and I as well. Are we helping those around us or are we driving them farther away? Through our actions and our speech, could we possibly be causing damage? We need to be careful here. Every person is certainly responsible for his or her own actions, but as followers of Jesus Christ, we would not want to do anything that would drive people away from Him. God does seem to appreciate that given these two examples.