Sunday, 13 June 2021
The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, Revelation 18:9
With the coming destruction of Babylon the great, there will be an accompanying lamentation that fills the earth. As the woman was said to sit on many waters (17:1), her scope of harlotry went throughout the world (17:15). The lamentation over her begins with “The kings of the earth.”
In verse 17:18, it was explicitly stated that “the woman you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” With her destroyed, their lamentation will be raised. This is because it is they “who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her.”
The fornication means mixing in idolatrous practices and being turned from proper worship of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The world will follow her in her deception and find out that they had been led astray. This wasn’t only by false religion though, but the words “lived luxuriously” signify they prospered off of being aligned with her.
And how many nations and leaders can this be said of in their intimate connection with Rome? By aligning themselves with the apostate harlot, they have become Speakers of the House, leaders of the Senate, and even Presidents. They have become Prime Ministers, Supreme Court Justices, governors, and so on.
All over the world, being aligned with the Vatican has brought immense prestige, wealth, and power. When she is destroyed, they “will weep and lament for her.”
These people will suddenly realize that they had put their allegiance in the wrong place. They thought they were earning heaven through donations, indulgences, and confessionals. Instead, they are deceived and are set to go off to perdition. There will be utter confusion and great lamentation at how their misplaced source of hope could be brought to nothing. This will all come to pass “when they see the smoke of her burning.”
Imagine the stunned state of Muslims if Mecca was suddenly destroyed! They could not mentally process that their religion was suddenly wiped out, proving it was always a false religion. This is the shock and horror that adherents to the false worship of the Vatican will feel. It will be a double-edged cut – the loss of worldly wealth and power, and the loss of any chance of being allowed into God’s paradise.
The words now closely reflect that which came at the destruction of Tyre, as is recorded in Ezekiel 26 –
“Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you.” Ezekiel 26:16
Life application: The thought of this verse closely mirrors the analysis of verse 18:3. The religious institutions of the world increase in wealth along with the prosperity of the people they minister to. As they so increase, it leads to indulgence, coveting, idolatry, and feelings of self-importance.
Follow the upward path of most religions or denominations and this is the normal result. As this occurs, the political and societal leaders align themselves with these apostate religions because it becomes a mutual way of exploiting the people. The religious leaders keep the people in spiritual bondage and the political and business leaders keep the people in line by controlling their pay, benefits, and rights of speech and assembly. They work hand in hand to manipulate the masses and keep the people in line with their will.
However, eventually, rifts do develop, and the leaders of the society often learn to hate the religious leaders and will devour them so that their control is complete over the people. This would be the state found in Revelation 17:16, 17. There, the destruction that comes upon the great harlot is possibly a result of this – the main leaders of the beast fulfilling God’s purpose to destroy her. The other kings of the earth who committed fornication with her will weep and lament over her.
There will be immense sadness because of the loss of the riches she possessed, and which also enriched them. They lived luxuriously off of her and that will all be lost. Because she is judged and destroyed, they know their turn cannot be far off. They will see her destruction, and will wail and lament at the suddenness and immensity of it. In this, they will know that they too are mere mortals and possibly next in line for termination.
There is only one true path to what is right and good. God has laid it out for us in the pages of Scripture. He has carefully and meticulously set things out so that we can be reconciled to Him by a mere act of faith. And yet, we as humans will follow almost any path except the right one because we cannot give up on our own pride. Set that aside, admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior, and – by faith – come to the cross. Be reconciled to God through JESUS.
Great are You, O Lord God Almighty, and great are Your judgments. We all deserve destruction and burning, for we are dust and ashes. But You, in Your abundant mercy, have spared the people You love by sending Jesus as our Substitute. Thank You for this Gift of love and this Offering of peace. Help us to share the truth of this great message, O God. Amen.