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Hard Truths

Daily Reading: Revelation 18

Scripture Focus:“Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.” (Revelation 18:16-17)

Devotional Thought: Contained in all the graphic imagery that we find in Revelation 18 are some hard truths, particularly the ultimate destruction of “Babylon” (representative of the world’s economic and political power). We also find the responses from the nonbelievers and the believers.

The “kings of the earth” who participated in her debauchery stand “far off in fear of her torment” (v.10) and are selfishly mourning the impact of her destruction on their own wealth and well-being: “The merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore” (v.11).

There is another perspective at the end of the chapter. In heaven, the saints and apostles and prophets rejoice, for “God has given judgment for you against her!” (v.20). From their point of view, God has vindicated those who were martyred by Babylon. We were given a vision of these souls earlier in Rev. 6:9-10, “those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.”

We know as God’s people we will be at odds with “Babylon”… no matter what people/nation that represents today. Without the righteous judgment of God coming upon this wicked people/nation, after much warning and many attempts at mercy, the goodness of heaven would fail. The new heaven and the new and perfected earth would not be realized, and God would not be good. But praise the Lord for his great love and his great justice! He will not let sin go unpunished, and because of that we have the wonderful hope of an eternity in the presence of God, with no tears, pain, death, or sorrow.


Prayer: Lord, help us to see the Babylon influence in our own lives, hearts, and minds. Cleanse us from worldly desires and lead us in the way of righteousness, for your name’s sake.

Psalm of the Day: 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalms 103:6-14)

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