Chapter 18, part 2
How much will Babylon be judged?
We ended last session with verses 6 and 7 which gave us a quick picture of just how much punishment Babylon must suffer…and it was a lot! She was to be paid beck double what she had done. She was also to be given as much grief and torture to equal the glory and luxury which she had given herself. What God is saying here is to make the punishment fit the crime.
Well, just what were her sins: Excess luxury, arrogance, pride, sin, and self-deception.
1. She will be judged because of her sins.
A. The occultist system of the Beast
B. Evil spirits controlling the minds of men.
2. She is judged because of her influence.
A center of social, political, cultural, and commercial life on this planet. (Read James 5: 1-5).
3. She is judged because of her infidelity.
She is totally turned off by the concept of a sovereign God and boasts about it.
4. She is judged by her inhumanity.
She deals in the “souls of men”. Human beings are nothing more than a commodity to own and sell.
How destructive is her judgment?
v. 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.
The destruction will be so sudden and with fire. It is total and final. Notice the grief, mourning and death.
WHO JUDGES THIS CITY?
It is God who judges her because He, alone, is able to do it.
(Read Isaiah 63:1-4)
v. 9. When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared in her luxuries see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10. Terrified at her torment, they will stand afar off and cry: “Wow! Wow! O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour, your doom has come.
Sounds like a nuclear explosion over the center of the city, doesn’t it? We have no clue how God does it, but we do know He has the power to cause it with His spoken word. Whatever it is, we can see that it is complete, final, and eternal.
Now, look at the world’s reaction to this sudden and horrific destruction.
In chapter 17 we saw that the kings of the earth hated religious Babylon and that Antichrist got rid of it in order to be worshipped without any competition. And the kings of the earth joined in her destruction. Here in this chapter, we see that the kings of the earth love commercial Babylon because of the revenue – the riches.
Read v. 11-17
11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore. 12. Cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles made of every kind of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble
As you begin to read the lists of items, you might get the feeling that you are
walking down 5th Avenue in New York, or Paris maybe. These are the products of an affluent society.
Notice first, the merchandise is luxurious, from the most expensive stores. You have gold and silver, precious stones, pearls. This is like the jewelry stores. Then you have the department stores, with fine linens, purple and scarlet silk. Next comes the expensive gift stores, where one might find items made of various precious wood, ivory, brass, iron, and marble.
13. cargoes of cinnamon, and spice, of incense, myrrh, and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
You may be walking along, looking in the windows at cosmetics sold there, such as myrrh, frankincense, and perfumes. And costly cooking items are next door where you might find supermarkets with oil and wine, fine flour and wheat. There would be gourmet foods as well. Food for the rich, the poor ate barley. These markets would sell meat such as steaks, chops, and filets, which most of us rarely can afford even today.
Now, you might turn a corner and there you find the car dealerships. In the showroom you would probably find a Jaguar, or a Bentley, and even a Massarotti convertible. Many of us have never even seen some of these luxury cars.
But the worst thing these merchants sell are at the slave markets. And I would suspect that many of these markets would contain, not only slaves for workers, but children, and young girls for pleasure as well. It’s almost like reading today’s newspaper. People are willing to sell their souls for riches.
14. “They will say, ‘The fruit you long for is gone from you. All your riches have vanished, never to be recovered.’”
15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her, will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn.
16. and cry out: “Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold,
precious stones, and pearls!
17. In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!” Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailor’s and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off.
People were growing rich but, where are they while Babylon is destroyed? Standing afar off! One writer commented that “they deserted Babylon like rats leaving a sinking ship”. Look what they say “Woe!” Almost like a wail.
18, When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim “was there ever a city, like this great city?”
19. They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning, cry out: “WOE, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! Un one hour she has been brought to ruin.
This is speaking of those engaged in transportation. This could be Fed Ex, and UPS, who got rich through transporting goods all over the world. Now they all mourn because of their depression. All went up in smoke in a matter of minutes. It is almost like the scripture is describing a huge nuclear explosion, doesn’t it? Well, I suppose that God could easily reproduce that type of explosion in a matter of minutes with a spoken word.
Look at us today. How do we see the luxuries of this world? Do we see it as it really is? Can we have it without it getting into our hearts? How would you feel if the luxuries in your life went up in smoke? Have you come to consider those luxuries as necessities? Would it break your heart to lose them, or is your heart fixed on Jesus? It does make a lot of difference.
Next time, we will dive into a different perspective. This time it will be from heaven’s viewpoint starting with verse 20. See you then, sweet friends.