Revelation 14:8: Intoxication.

A second angel followed and said, ‘“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,”[a] which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’NIV

Ancient Babylon was the political, commercial and religious centre of a world empire. It was noted for its luxury and moral decadence.

In the book of Revelation, ‘’Babylon’’ probably represents the world system (of which Rome was the great expression at the time John). This verse is the precursor to a fuller description of Babylon’s downfall in chapter 18.

Babylon – the world system – operates like a prostitute, seducing people by intoxication. The world wants our hearts, but they rightfully belong to God. When we give them to other gods we are committing spiritual adultery. There is a very real spiritual power at work that, like an excess of alcohol, lowers people’s defences, distorts perception and makes them vulnerable to loving idols. After all, if there wasn’t something slightly delicious about inebriation, the temptation to get drunk wouldn’t be all that effective. Watch out for that seductive, luring, enticing influence of the world. It will make sin look remarkably attractive. The devil, using the world to entice, wants to win our hearts for himself.

So, in a nutshell, when people are drunk they are more likely to commit sexual sin; when we are drunk on what this world offers, we are more likely to commit spiritual adultery.

As Tom Wright says: ‘…the deep seduction of evil really can swallow people up whole.’ ‘Revelation for Everyone’, p.131.

One thing we can be sure of is that Babylon, though powerful, is doomed. Her time is short.