Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 18:1-10
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. He called out with a mighty voice,
"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
It has become a dwelling place of demons,
a haunt of every foul spirit,
a haunt of every foul bird,
a haunt of every foul and hateful beast.
For all the nations have drunk
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,
and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury."
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
"Come out of her, my people,
so that you do not take part in her sins,
and so that you do not share
in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
Render to her as she herself has rendered,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed.
As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
so give her a like measure of torment and grief.
Since in her heart she says,
'I rule as a queen;
I am no widow,
and I will never see grief,'
therefore her plagues will come in a single day --
pestilence and mourning and famine --
and she will be burned with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her."
And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,
"Alas, alas, the great city,
Babylon, the mighty city!
For in one hour your judgment has come."
-Comment: In Revelations, John’s name for Rome is Babylon. The dream of John longs for a day when Rome’s influence is over. The people of God are called out of her because Rome is a place of iniquity. Recent fires in Rome show God's denouncement of Rome.
John is warning his followers of the powerful but insidious influence of the Roman Empire. He forecasts a day when Rome will fall just as Babylon did. In this case, there is no Jerusalem for the people of God to return to. It had been destroyed in the year 70 by Rome. A new Jerusalem will have to be built—a new home for the faithful will have to grow up in the hearts of the faithful.