Revelation 18 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
In Genesis 11:4, the people in opposing God’s plan said, “. . . let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”. So God gave them all different languages so they could not make a name for themselves and stay in one city.
Then in Isaiah 47:8-11, “Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children”: 9 These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments. 10 You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.”11 But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
Think of Babylon as a city, any city, that opposes God. Every trait of s city that is anti-God is Babylon. So if you live in Moscow in the year 812, you could say Moscow is Babylon. In the same year if you lived in China, Beijing could be called Babylon. In 1801, a Parisian could rightly call Paris Babylon or San Paulo if you lived in Brazil. There isn’t one Babylon, there are many. So what does Babylon receive from God?
God never just judges a nation or a person. Rather He warns and warns and warns. So, one on hand you see the kindness of God in warning that a time is coming. God does judge after much warning but then another Babylon comes upon the scene. But because God is patient, the ungodly take His patients as license to do more evil.
“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.” This is the cry of the angel with a mighty voice.
Then the merchants who have profited from Babylon, weep and mourn for Babylon, saying,
14 “The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!”15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, 16 “Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! 17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.” And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off
18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, “What city was like the great city?”
19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste. 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”
As you read verse 9 and following you will see the close connection with idolatry and immorality. How this is easily seen in our day and it was evident in every age. This destructive behavior sadly accompanies idolatry.
Notice when Babylon is fallen, how the world responds. First the world mourns in vs. 14-19. These are the merchants in v. 15. The kings of the earth in v. 9 also mourn and grieve.
If these same people are speaking in v. 20, they finally recognize the justice of God’s judgment. If this is the narrator, we see the victory of God over nations and governments that oppose God. In this world, there is ubiquitous injustice, gross immorality that is lauded, and terrible corruption that robs the poor. And this awful iniquity goes on for generations. But there will be an end. There will be justice.
We are built to love justice. Recently, in the city of Flint, a security guard, father of 9, was shot in the head by a 23 year old because he followed the store policy of no mask; no entrance. He refused entry and 20 minutes later this young man returned and shot him in cold blood. I yearn for justice for this man and his family.
And I also yearn for ultimate justice. Anyone who opposes God in decision after decision in a 60, 80, 90 year life is refusing to love, submit, and worship their Creator. He is the very One who made them, gave them innumerable blessings and the very One who deserves every single created being to worship Him. Yes, some have not acted with such blatant disregard as we find here. But every person that does not submit, obey, and love God is choosing their own destruction.
In the end, the very end, justice will be served. And the city that was a center of trade, commerce, and sexual immorality will be quiet and empty,”. . . 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.” God will shut the party down for good. What a terrible day that will be for those who reject God. May we always be mindful that we have escaped our just judgment by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.