Babylon’s third problem: Defiance
7b since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’ (Revelation 18:7b–ESV)
Here God is reporting Babylon’s outlook. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. Jesus said that the Jews were not made unclean by the food which they ate, but by the evils which were in their hearts. From the heart come misdeeds. If you wish to read more about that lesson of Christ go to Mark 7.
Babylon had a wicked heart and the wickedness she expressed was defiance. All people are to be in submission to certain frameworks, e.g. employee-employer, wife-husband, children-parents, human-God. Babylon would have none of that. She holds a couple of opinions. One of her convictions is that she is where she is as a queen. She rules. She is not a figurehead, but has authority of a regent over all things around her. She is not on a lower throne in submission to a higher one, but on the throne.
She goes on to say, “I am no widow.” In this she is declaring like Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel, “Look what I have done. Look what I have built. I am not here on the coattails of a husband-king gaining my throne on his death. No, I did this.”
Finally, she holds in her heart that she is perpetual. Nothing can destroy her. She has risen to the pinnacle and around her she has built an impregnable fortress. She is safe from destruction.
Looking from the outside in it is much easier to see the foolishness of this position, especially when we read this in the Bible. We approach her with the context of God’s words. She did not approach life with that notion. She was motivated by a grab-all-you-can-get philosophy, felt she had grabbed it and now was proud over the whole thing.