GLORY BE TO…?
Blessed Lord, my life is enriched, fulfilled, and illuminated by your marvelous grace to me. I praise and bless your name.
Read REVELATION 18:1-10
Lament Over Fallen Babylon
18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
“‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’[a]
She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“‘Come out of her, my people,’[b]
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow;[c]
I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’
- Revelation 18:2 Isaiah 21:9
- Revelation 18:4 Jer. 51:45
- Revelation 18:7 See Isaiah 47:7,8.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.’ (Psalm 115:1). How have you experienced God’s love and faithfulness?
There is an intriguing mix of past, present and future tenses in the judgment on Babylon (vs 2,6,8). When John wrote Revelation, the fall of Rome was yet to happen, but God’s word of judgment is so sure and certain, it is as though it has already taken place. What a comfort this must have been for those suffering from Roman exploitation.
Rome’s ‘greatness’ was obtained by syphoning off the resources of the lands it conquered to supply Rome’s elite with luxuries (v 7). Rome’s offenses that ‘piled up to heaven’ were the sins of Babel (see Genesis 11:4), Babylon, and every great imperial power since that has sought glory for itself. Could this desire to be the first, the best and to bask in glory be at the heart of God’s warning (v 4)? God’s people are to be different. We are to seek God’s glory above all.
So how do we ‘come out of the city?’ Maybe we start by reassessing our investment priorities: are we investing in things destined for judgment (vs 3,9) or are our priorities shaped by Jesus, our eternal treasure (see also Luke 12:32–34)? Are we investing in our own reputation or in God’s glory?
Ask the Holy Spirit to grow your desire for God’s honor and glory.
Lord, I live in a world of endless advertising, tempting me to keep up with others. Please help me to make you, and you alone, my heart’s desire.
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