18 Revelation

Author

Kevin Werner

Scripture

Revelation 18:1-24

A continuation of the vision as revealed to John, this one by another angel from Heaven, having great authority and glory.  In this chapter, “Babylon the great”, which represented the ultimate in selfishness, greed, evil, and immorality, has fallen.  All have bought into her lies, her empty promises, her deception.

Another voice from Heaven calls out to God’s people to come out of Babylon, to keep clean, to not participate in the evil that is rampant there, and to avoid the impending judgment.  God sees Babylon’s evil ways, and will repay her inhabitants two fold for their evil.  The world has bought into Babylon’s empty promises, has worshipped at her altar, and weeps at her destruction, and the devastation of the economy and the fortunes they made from “buying into Babylon”.  Babylon, and all who bought into her lies, will be thrown into the depths of the sea, utterly destroyed, never to be seen from or heard of again.

Observation

We can spend time trying to identify, then or now, just “who” Babylon is, but that is really a waste of time.  It is the world, it is our society, our culture, our lust for all that is.   It is the placement of us at the center of our universe, on altars of our own shoddy construction.  God gently but persistently calls us from that self-focused life, to a life focused on Him.  Sometimes He uses a still, small voice; sometimes He sends glorious angels from Heaven.  The important thing is that He lovingly calls to us to draw us away from that life focused on destruction and judgment.

Application

For me, this message hits home especially hard this time of year.  While we live in a culture that year around is obsessed with self, self-worth, and the glorification and worship of self, at Christmas the obsession is turned up several notches to a fever pitch.  Everywhere we turn, we are reminded to come and worship at the altar of consumerism, of materialism, of self.  It’s all about gifts that will make us perfect, complete, desirable.  And if no one will buy it for us, then it is our duty to buy it for ourselves.

This chapter is a good reminder that placing all my emphasis on self yields me nothing but destruction, dissatisfaction, and judgment.  God has such better plans for me, plans to grow and prosper me.  However, to participate in the growth and prosperity He has planned for me, God needs to be at the center of my life, not me.  He needs to be on the altar of my life, not me.  As is often the case, this revelation from God runs totally counter culture to what the world is telling me today, and where Satan is leading me today.

Prayer

Father God, thank you that since you are our loving Father, our Creator, you know us better than we know ourselves.  You know what we need to be our best, and that is to place you, not us, at the center of our existence.  Thank you for the Bible that tells us that repeatedly, in so many different ways.  Help us to understand your words in the Bible, and to apply them.

Please forgive us when we still repeatedly ignore your best for us and choose the worst.  Forgive us when we listen to the lies of our culture instead of your eternal truths.  Forgive us when we worship ourselves instead of you.

God, we love you and thank you for faithfully calling us to you, and to living a life centered on you.  You know that goes against our human nature; empower us daily to yield to your Divine nature and choose to live a life that glorifies you and fulfills us.  And when we fail at that, which we will….thank you for Jesus and how He lived life perfectly.  Thank you for salvation through Him so that even when we mess up, we are still your beloved children.

Amen

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