Juxtaposition of Babylon and Zion

Exodus 16:19-20 “And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them”

It is of cardinal importance for the church to be aligned with the present day truth. Present day truth is the now word of God that is pertinent to the now season. Granting to the passage of scripture cited above, it is apparent that God instructed Israel not to partake in the manna of yesterday in the new daylight. Nevertheless, they disobeyed the instruction of God by gathering for today and for tomorrow and as the result the manna bred worms and stank. The principle that is inferred from this passage of scripture is that, the Manna of yesterday is today’s worms. Simply put, the word God for the current epoch can easily become a hindrance if appropriated for another season. It behooves the church to move with the cloud of the presence of God to keep in touch with what God is doing in this season. We ought to see how God works, God is progressive.

A divine directive of today can be tantamount to idolatry in the morrow. The purpose of this article to help us comprehend and assimilate the principles of building in the Kingdom of God. The plan of attack is to put Zion and Babylon in a microscope in a pursuit to see how God builds as opposed to how mankind builds. Let us define Zion. Zion is the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Zion is a city not made with human hands, but by the hand of God himself. Plainly cast, it is an accurate manifestation of the heavenly things. Hebrews 11:10 “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”. It is self-evident from this passage of scripture that when God builds, he builds to reveal himself. The principle is that the invisible is understood through the visible. Zion is the visible (physical) expression of the invisible (spiritual). Right away let us define Babylon.

For the purpose of this article, Babylon can be defined as every man-made system, knowledge, visions and wisdom that seeks to exalt itself above the knowledge of God. Simply put; every human ideology that does not glorify and acknowledge the mastery and sovereignty of God is tantamount to idolatry. The question then becomes what is idolatry? Idolatry can be defined as everything that is less than Christ. Let us shift our attention towards the scripture even as we explore in detail how Babylon was built as opposed to Zion. By now we know that understanding the book of Genesis is the genesis of understanding. Let us analyse the creation and background of Babylon as our degree of expiration. Genesis 10:8-10 “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”

From the above passage of scripture, it is evident that Nimrod the son of Cush is the founding father of Babel. The principle is that every system is defined by its founding fathers. Thus, it is imperative for us to understand the foundation of Babel if we want to comprehend the system of Babel. First, what does the name Nimrod mean? It comes from the Hebrew verb “Marad”, meaningrebel. It is therefore axiomatic that the city of Babel was founded upon the foundation of rebellion. The question is who is Nimrod?

  • Nimrod was the son of Cush
  • He was mighty one in the earth
  • He was rebellious against God as his name denotes his nature
  • He is the founding father of the city of Babel
  • He exalted himself above the knowledge of God

Genesis 11:1- 9″And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Let us dissect the above passage of scripture to excavate the hidden nuggets of present day truth.

Modus operandi of Babylon

  1. They used brick and slime to build the city and the tower of Babel
  2. They used brick instead of stone and slime instead of mortar
  3. The main objective was to build a structure that reaches unto heaven
  4. They wanted to make a great name for themselves

Let us turn over on each principle highlighted above

  1. They used brick and slime to build the city and the tower of Babel

It is evident that brick and slime was used in the building of the city of Babel. We need to note that bricks are made of clay and water. Bricks are man-made material. Therefore, Babylon was founded upon a man-made system and ideologies that seek to exalt itself above the knowledge God.

  1. They used brick instead of stone, and slime instead of mortar

It is evident that the people opted to utilize an alternative building material not the relevant material that is utilized to make. The scripture clearly says that bricks were used instead of stones. It is evident that man-made material was used in instead of God-made material in the construction of the city of Babel. Bear in mind that bricks are man-made whilst stones are God made. The principle is that when man-made material is used in the building, the end result will always be Babel (religious system that defies the supremacy of God). Simply put, we cannot employ man-made strategies, ideologies and systems to build the kingdom of God. The principle is that divine systems cannot be adulterated by man-made systems. Every time, mankind employs his own strategies to build the outcome will always be “Ichabod” (absence of glory). Let us revisit the book of 1Samuel to excavate the principles upon which Babylon was established.

1 Samuel 4:1-4 “Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousands of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of the enemies. So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.” It is evident from the above passage of scripture that Israel committed a huge mistake of leaving behind the Ark of the Covenant to fight the Philistines.

Note that they brought the ark only after realizing that they are losing the battle. Plainly cast, they employed their carnal strategies to fight the Philistines instead of sticking to the divine order and protocol. The question becomes what is the divine order? Divine order is that God takes precedence and pre-eminence in everything we do. The Ark of the Covenant was designed to be in the forefront, but, however, Israel left the Ark of the Covenant behind and that’s the cause why they were discomfited because they replaced the divine order with human order. Babylonian order is antithetical to the divine order in the gumption that it puts man first and God after. The tower and the city of Babel were constructed using bricks instead of stone, and slime instead of mortar. Recall we said earlier that Babylon is a religious system. The scriptures state that when the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the camp, the people shouted and praised God, but however, the Philistines discerned that it was an empty shout because God was not in their midst.

The lesson that we can learn from Israel is that God has to be in the forefront in everything we endeavor and want to achieve because everything that is attained in the absence of God is “Ichabod”. 1 Samuel 6:3-7 “They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with cast nets, harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.” What can we learn from this passage of scripture? It is interesting to remark that the Ark of the Covenant was put on a new cart, which was a good gesture, but even then, the divine order according to the Mosaic was that the Ark of the Covenant must set along the wooden staffs to be supported by the shoulders of the priests.

Today we realise that there are severe repercussions when mankind violates the divine order. Oft times we are enchanted up in creating new arrangements that do not conform to the divine protocols. The new cart was actually a neat idea, but however, it was not a great idea as far as God is touched. We should be careful not to be caught up in creating and pioneering systems that do not adjust to the divine pattern. The principle is that everything that does not resemble Christ shall be adjudicated.

  1. The main objective was to build a structure that reaches unto heaven

The motive for the erection of the tower of Babel was for humans to reach unto heaven. We can derive from this principle that Babel is a spiritual organization that seeks God following man-made protocols, ideologies, imaginations, laws and arrangements. Firstly, let us define religion. Religion is man-made order, pattern, paradigm, ways and modus operandi instituted by human beings in a pursuit to build the kingdom of God. We necessitate being cautious in terms of how we build the kingdom of God. The principle is that every seed brings forth after its sort. Plainly cast, whatever man builds, it will constantly ponder the nature of humanity.

  1. They made a name for themselves

Babylon was established upon the system of idolatry. Recall we said earlier that idolatry is everything that is not equal to Christ. Plainly put, everything that is not tantamount to the stature and measure of Christ is equal to idolatry because it does not exalt God. The primary engine behind the construction of Babel was self-idolatry in a sense that they wanted to create a name for themselves, and not glorify the name of God. It behoves us to construct in accordance with the divine pattern. The principle is that everything that is God-made shall glorify God and not humans.

Let us divert our attention towards Zion, the city of the living God. It is of paramount importance for us to note that Zion is no longer confined to a geographical location, but however, Zion is a spiritual habitation of the Lord (the church). The Psalmist corroborated this sentiment in Psalms 132:13-14 “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” Let us revisit the account of creation even as we learn how God builds as opposed to how mankind builds. Genesis 1:3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” It is evident from this text that God spoke the word (Christ) in the creation of the universe. John 1.1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” It is apparent from the above cited passage of scripture that everything was created by the Word (Christ). Furthermore, the scripture records that the Spirit of God was hovering upon the face of the deep. Let us juxtapose. Babylon was built with bricks and slime and Zion was built with stone and mortar.

Plainly cast, man-made material was employed in the construction of Babel. Note how God created the heavens and the earth. God the father spoke the word (God the Son) and God the Holy Spirit administered the government of God the father. Plainly cast, Christ (the living stone) and the Holy Spirit (the mortar) were involved in the creation account. The principle that can be inferred from the creation account is that God does not employ man-made material to build his kingdom on earth. Isaiah 28:16 ” Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Let us interrogate this passage of scripture.

  1. A stone is laid in Zion for a foundation- Christ is the stone cut without human hands laid in Zion(the church) as the foundation
  2. Tried stone- Christ was tried and tempted in every manner by the system of men but he was found innocent
  3. Precious corner-stone- Surely there is none like him and that predicates on his deity
  4. A sure foundation- He proved to be faithful at all times

The question becomes who is the stone that Isaiah the prophet spoke about? It is axiomatic from the above cited passage of scripture that the stone that the prophet is speaking about is none other than Christ. Simply put, Zion is built upon the tried, precious and a sure foundation (Christ). Paul the Apostle attested to this viewpoint in Ephesians 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” The main difference between Zion and Babylon is that Zion is built upon the Rock (Christ) whilst Babylon is a city without a foundation (Christ) and is built by bricks and slime. Daniel 2:45 “Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands.”

King Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone that was cut without human hands, but however, he did not have the revelation about the stone (Christ). It is noteworthy that the stone was cut without human hands, predicating the deity of Christ. It is apparent from the scriptures that the stone (Christ) destroyed the head of gold (Babylon). The principle is that every man-made system that defies the supremacy and sovereignty of God shall be destroyed and crushed into powder. Matthew 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Recall that when Babylon was built, the people rejected the stone (Christ) and they used bricks instead. Guess what? The same stone (Christ) that mankind rejected and despised became the chief corner stone and it is marvellous in our sight. The principle is that there is only one sure foundation upon which everything hinges upon.

Heaven and earth was founded upon the foundation of Christ and there is nothing that was not founded upon Christ. It behoves the church therefore to migrate to the tried, sure and precious foundation (Christ). Genesis 28:18-19 “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.” Granting from the passage of scripture cited above, it is evident that Jacob turned the stone that he used for a pillow into a pillar. The principle is that when the stone (Christ) is used as a pillow, the result is Luz but however, there is a paradigm shift when the stone is used as a pillar. Guess what? Luz is transformed into Beth-el the house of God. Jacob by revelation understood that until Christ is placed in his rightful position not as a pillow but as a pillar, God will never inhabits Zion (the church). The principle is that the presence of God is where Christ is placed as the chief cornerstone.

There is therefore a clarion call for the church to migrate from the pillow to the pillar, from Luz to Beth-el, from Babylon to Zion. Isaiah 51:1-2 “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” It is quintessential for us to look unto Abraham our Father. Recall that by faith Abraham looked for a city that has foundations (Christ) and whose builder and maker is God. Therefore, it behoves us to follow in the example of our father Abraham, to put our focus on everything that is founded upon Christ and not humans. Zion is a city without walls. It is a city whose builder and maker is God. Bear in mind, the Lord has chosen Zion as a place of his habitation. The scriptures record that God loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. The rationale is that Zion is built upon the chief corner stone (Christ), the stone that was cut without human hands. Therefore, everything that we build should hinge upon Christ. In conclusion, we need to note that Babylon is a city without foundations and is built with bricks (religion) and slime (idolatry) whilst Zion is a city that has foundations and is built with the stone (Christ) and the mortar (Holy Spirit).