Chapter 18 is in the midst of the chapters that focus on the perspective of a woman name Babylon. Although her name is associated with the city that the Israelites were once exiled in, she represents all of the seductive aspects of life throughout history. In one of the longest chapters in Revelation, it is made clear that even the things which we and our society value the most will be reduced to ashes.
Yesterday's chapter ended with the kings of the earth, who had been under the spell of Babylon, assert their desire for total control and authority by killing Babylon.
However, Once the allurement brought about by human greed is destroyed, the rest of society (vs. 9-20) crumbles away. All of the treasures and desires that seem so tempting now drive so much of the work we do as a society, and when the treasures go away, everything else seems to fall down with it (vs. 21-24).
THE HYMN OF DEFEAT: Three separate groups sing a song to mourn the loss of what had been the center of their livelihoods: The kings (v9-10) who ruled over the luxuries, the merchants (v11-17) who made fortunes by selling Babylon's luxuries, and the sea captains (v17b-19) who transported the luxuries. Notice the similarities of the songs they sing, and how the song gets progressively longer each time it's sung, and how each song ends with the same line:
In one hour her doom has come / she has been brought to ruin (v10, 17, 19)
THE HYMN OF VICTORY: The big lesson for you in chapter 18 comes in v4-5:
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes."
You've been given a huge gift by being able to read the book of Revelation. You know how things will turn out in the end. You know the things of this world will not last. Therefore, listen to this voice from heaven, and escape from the clutches of being addicted to the allurements of society.
EYE FOR DETAIL— What did the mighty angel throw into the sea, which represented the cities of Babylon? (v21)
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Mighty is the Lord God who judges this world (v8)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will strengthen you not to succumb to the sins of this world (v4)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
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