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Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

For further study - I Peter 5:6-13

Our devotional reading for today starts with the exhortation to be vigilant in light of the reality that the devil is loose and seeking to devour each of us. Don’t let any one tell you that the Devil has been "bound". He will be "bound" when Jesus comes back to the Earth, Revelation 20:1-3. Notice James 4:7 for the way to have victory over the Devil.

The extended reading for today ends with a salute to the church, which Peter had started in the city of Babylon. Peter had been obedient to Jesus who said to go to the "ends of the earth" with the gospel. He went to Babylon to start a church.

From the outset, let me tell you that I believe Peter was truly in the literal city of Babylon when he wrote this passage of scripture. I do not believe that the use of the term "Babylon" is a code name for the city of Rome. I do not ever remember Peter being cryptic with his words in written or spoken form. Babylon is Babylon.

The fact is that Babylon was the second most populated city in the world at the time Peter wrote this epistle. Jerusalem was the most Jewish populated city with Babylon a close second.

What this means of course is that the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates River, then in Mesopotamia, was still alive, a vibrant city, over 500 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire. In Peter's day, Babylon was a thriving city. In fact, even today Babylon is still a city inhabited. In recent days there was a military compound there called Camp Babylon.

With this information, and the knowledge of Bible prophecy that the city of Babylon must be destroyed and never lived in again, one has to realize that Bible prophecy found in Isaiah 13-14, Jeremiah 50-51, Revelation 18:10,17,19 and Revelation 16:17-21 all state that Babylon, the literal city, must be destroyed and never lived in again - forever. These prophecies have not been fulfilled.

The conflict going on today in modern-day Iraq is setting the stage for all the aforementioned prophecies to be fulfilled - and soon.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to understand current events in light of Biblical prophecy.