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Friday, October 19 2012

Introduction: Last week, we considered the two faces of Babylon; the Religious Babylon (Rev.17); guilty of religious abominations and Commercial Babylon (Rev.18), guilty of pride, greed and self-indulgence and the judgment that befell her. We concluded by saying that it was very easy, these last days to be lured into the entrapment of the system that rules the world we live in so we have to be careful to steer clear of "self" - a destroyer and a waster. Today, we will consider the aftermath of the judgment of Babylon and learn a few valuable lessons

1.      Verses 9-10: The kings of the Earth Lament

"The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ?Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'"

 

When you read this verse of scripture two things can be suggested about the kings of the earth standing at a distance

         The heat and smoke of her burning must be very intense that they had to stand at a distance.

         When God's judgment comes, no one can contend it. The best they can offer will be idle lamentations "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! "

 

2.      Verses 11-17a The Merchants reveal their greed and selfishness as they lament.

 

Verse 11

"And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more"

They were not concerned about the fact that Babylon was burning

It is plain that the mourning was rooted in self-interest: for no one buys their merchandise anymore

 

Verses 12-13

 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

 

They reveal their materialism and rebellion. Note the last bit of verse 13: "And slaves and souls of men" Their dealings were not only exploiting people and the city but they traded the souls of men; cruelly using others. They sold the bodies and souls of men, occultism, prostitution and pornography were the order of the day. We are already seeing these.

 

Verse 14

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

.

The things craved for (the worldly pleasures) will bear up wings and fly away. These are same things that chased away the things that are dainty and goodly

.

Verses 15- 17a

 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,  And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.

Notice as well that the merchants kept their distance and once again their emphasis on materialism. "For in one hour so great riches is come to nought."

 

3.      Verses 17b - 19 The Sea-Captains lament.

"And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate."

 

We see another group of fake lamenters; their source of business was gone. That was their concern "Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth"

 

4.      Verse 20:  Call to the heavens and the people of God: rejoice!

"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"

Proverbs 11:10?

Should God's people rejoice when judgment comes? Yes, but we don't rejoice in the destruction in judgment. Rather, we rejoice in the righteous resolution God's judgment brings.

 

5.      Verse 21: An angel graphically shows Babylon's fall.

"And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all"

 

Jeremiah 51:61-64: "He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. Then say, ?Lord, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.' When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, ?So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.'".

 

Matthew 18:6: "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

This applies to Babylon in Revelation 18, because she led others into sin. It is a terrible thing to sin; it is even more terrible to lead others into sin.

 

6.      Verses 22-23a Babylon is left desolate and powerless.

"And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth;

 

Shall be heard no more at all in thee . . . shall be found any more in thee . . . shall be heard no more at all in thee. . . shall shine no more at all in thee: In graphic and poetic language, John describes how Babylon will become at the end. All the clamor and glamour gone; no music, no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, no light (not even that of a candle), no more marrying and giving in marriage - Nothing!

 

7.      Verses 23b - 24: The reasons for the judgment of Babylon

 "for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."

 

"For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived": Sorcery is the ancient Greek word pharmakia, which means, "to prepare drugs." The lure of Babylon can be likened to drug addiction, fueled by deceptive advertising deceiving all the nations

The ultimate reason for Babylon's judgment was that she has killed the prophets and saints.

God takes the persecution of His people as a personal offense. Those who attack His people really attack Him.

 

Conclusion

The people that mostly drive us into participating in evil usually do so for their own benefits and not ours. And when the time for reaping the consequences of our actions come, the best they can offer will be half-hearted lament and it will not be because they are sorry for us but that they are concerned only for themselves.

Chasing after worldly pleasure will eventually chase away the things that are graceful and goodly and leave us empty, bare and at risk of eternal judgment.

Babylon, in judgment crashed and burned! We don't have to!

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:17 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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