Saturday, 12 June 2021
Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. Revelation 18:8
Because of the life of luxurious living noted in the previous verses, Babylon the great will be punished. A contrast to the life she has been living will come upon her, as is implied in the words, “Therefore her plagues will come in one day.”
There will be complete recompense against her in the form of plagues, and it will come suddenly. While she is sitting fat, dumb, and happy, the life she feels so at ease in will suddenly be snatched away, being replaced with great horror. As it next says, “death.”
This is given in contrast to the words, “I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.” Next, it says, “and mourning.”
This is given in contrast to the thought that she had glorified herself. Next, it says, “and famine.”
This is given in contrast to the thought of her having lived luxuriously. A contrasting plague is to be cast upon her for each of her areas of comfort and self-indulgence. The final one is then stated with the words, “And she will be utterly burned with fire.”
This punishment is given for her fornications. It recalls the thought of Leviticus 21:9 –
“The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be burned with fire.”
This harlot has brought disgrace upon the name of her heavenly Father by mingling what is sacred with what is profane. Her harlotries have become so great that there is simply no remedy for her actions, and she will be thoroughly punished for them. As it next says, “for strong is the Lord God who judges her.”
This is a sentiment found in Jeremiah 50 –
“Their Redeemer is strong;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their case,
That He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.” Jeremiah 50:34
The major theme of the words of this verse are hinted at in the humiliation of Babylon as described by Isaiah –
“For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.” Isaiah 47:10, 11
As for the idea of contrasting punishments for such wickedness, that is seen in Isaiah 3 in regard to the punishments levied upon Judah and Jerusalem –
“And so it shall be:
Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench;
Instead of a sash, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, baldness;
Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword,
And your mighty in the war.
26 Her gates shall lament and mourn,
And she being desolate shall sit on the ground.”
The Lord God determines when judgment will come, how it will be brought about, and the level of punishment that will be brought upon the offender. In the case of Babylon, there will be complete ruin because of the sins she has heaped up throughout the years.
Life application: There is one God and one Lord. There is one and only one avenue to reconciliation with Him, and it is through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Power through whom man is either restored to God or destroyed in His presence. All who align themselves with Babylon the great will find an unhappy ending. So much for religious pluralism!
Either the Bible is true, or it is fairy tales. If it is true, we need to be about the Lord’s business. Judgment is coming for those who fail to heed the call. Respond to it today and receive what God offers. Come to the cross and be reconciled to Him through the shed blood of JESUS.
Lord, help us… help us to speak boldly and without fear about the truth of Your word and the wickedness in the world around us. If You are for us, then who can be against us? But in our natural selves, we shy away from conflict and the truth in order to be liked. Lord, remind us that the only one we need to be “liked” by is You. Nothing else will do. Glory to You! Amen.