July 07 2022
Today, Thursday July 07
Weeping, Lamenting, Mourning and Wailing
"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, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?' They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'
In Revelation 17, ecclesiastical, religious Babylon is destroyed by the Antichrist and his ten kings, after he uses her to rise to power in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. After she is gone, the Antichrist sets up his one world, global economic and political system, also called Babylon, by which he is able to rule the world and demands that it worship him.
Now in Revelation 18, the final destruction, by God Himself, of economic, commercial and political Babylon, is being described by John. In this chapter we hear at least four voices. The first voice was the voice of destruction by the mighty angel from heaven (vv. 1-3), proclaiming “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” The second was a voice from heaven calling God’s people to come out of this worldly ungodly system. “Come out of her, my people” (v. 4). The root and spirit of these two Babylons goes back to Nimrod and the building of the tower of Babel in Genesis 10:8-10.
The third is a voice of lamentation (vv. 9-19). When this economic, commercial and political Babylon is destroyed in one hour there is great lamentation by those who have profited by her. They are said to be weeping, lamenting, mourning and wailing”.
This long paragraph describes the mourning of the merchants as they see Babylon go up in smoke and all their wealth destroyed. The image here is that of a prosperous ancient city that is visited by many ships. The wealth of the city provides for many nations and employs many people. It is worth noting that not only do the merchants lament the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18:11), but also the kings of the earth (Rev. 18:9). Business and government are so intertwined that what affects one affects the other.
Certainly, the city of Rome was the center for world trade and government in John's day, and it was known for its extravagance and luxury. Politically and economically, the people in the Empire were dependent on Rome. Today, with the complex connections that exist between governments and businesses, and with the interrelated computer systems, it would not take long for "Babylon" to collapse and the world's economic system to be destroyed.
The word translated "wail" (Rev. 18:9) means "a loud lamentation" as opposed to silent weeping. In fact, the same word is translated "weep" in Revelation 18:11. Note that the merchants are not feeling sorry for the city, but for themselves: they have lost valuable customers! God had brought an end to their life of luxury and wealth. Even their employees weep (Rev. 18:17-18).
All this destruction happens in “one hour” and again, we saw how this could happen when 9/11 took place in New York. But what happened twenty-one years ago will pale compared to what will happen toward the very end of the Tribulation when God Himself destroy the commercial, global, economic system of the Antichrist!
May the Lord help us as believer even today not to get caught up in the “spirit of this Babylon”!