The Babylon of Revelation 18 of course stands for Rome and its empire. Ancient people could not miss the figure of the city set on seven hills.
But it’s not just a city – nor even a particular entity – that is condemned here. It’s not even a particular political system.
It’s a way of life.
A way of life that exalts itself above the judgment of God – either by unthinkingly ignoring Him or rebelliously disobeying Him.
A way of life devoted to business – and busyness.
A way of life devoted to luxury (look at the list in verses 12 and 13.) Verse 14 says they “long” for these things.
It will all come to an end – a violent one.
This life and its trappings are not unimportant. They only become unimportant when the God who makes both possible is left out of the life of those who enjoy them, when the blessings become the focus rather than the serendipity.
Was there ever a nation as great as ours? Was there ever a time better than this? None of it will matter when God brings it all to an end and time, as we count it, is no more.