Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fall of Babylon

December 30: Revelation 12-18

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
23 and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.”
Revelation 18:21-24

Fall of Babylon

Like most people, I prefer reading about the love of God and of all the blessings given to the children of God rather than the judgments against the wicked. However, there is no perfect justice if there is no judgment against sin. Remember, Christians, too, are judged for their sins; that judgment has been paid by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.

If you have ever been the victim of a crime, you will see the utter frustration of being victimized with no resolution, when the criminal is "protected" and allowed to return to the streets so that he may commit more crimes against others. Of course we need a court system to protect those who are accused falsely, but it is truly a disgrace when those who are guilty are released from the judgment they deserve.

As such, our passage today focuses on the Fall of Babylon. Babylon represents the great sin and wickedness of the world; here is what we are told in Revelation 18.

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
3 For all nations have drunk
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
Revelation 18:2b-3

At the same time, the people of God are warned,

“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities."
Revelation 18:4b-5

The temptation of flirting with the world is a hard one to resist, is it not? How we like to live with our little toe stretched over the line. After all, sin is fun, and the rewards of the world are great for a time. Their end, however, is only bitterness and death.

Just as God calls His people out of Babylon, so He calls His people today out of the sins of this world which is represented by Babylon. God is a jealous God who demands His people to be faithful to Him. Unfortunately, the line between the one and the other is sometimes hard to distinguish.

As we face the approaching new year, may we all remember the Fall of Babylon, and pray that God will keep us faithfully serving Him rather than being entangled in the web of wickedness that exists all around us.

God Bless You,

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