Saturday in the Fourth Week of Easter

Revelation 18:1-20

How the Wicked Pine for Babylon

God’s people are given another wonderful scene in chapter eighteen – the scene of the fall of Babylon, the Great Prostitute, to whom we were introduced yesterday.  You will remember that Babylon is any city or world system that seduces mankind into the sin and degradation that are part of this world.  Babylon is full of adultery and infidelity, pride and luxury – and so she is personified as a prostitute.  She is the polar opposite of our Lord and of the city he has founded in heaven, sometimes referred to in Scripture as Mount Zion.  Here, we see Babylon fallen, cast down, burned up, and destroyed.

In chapter nineteen, we will hear heaven rejoice over the destruction of Babylon.  But for now, it is important to notice how the wicked feel over her destruction.  Notice that the kings of the earth weep and wail over her, for they had committed sexual immorality with her and had grown rich by consorting with the Prostitute.  The merchants weep and mourn for her, because the source of their wealth is now burning up.  The sailors lift up a lament as well and throw dust on their heads: “What city was like the great city!”  These all gnash their teeth as their mistress is ruined; her ruin is their ruin.

So the wicked increase in wickedness, and regret the loss of the fount that provided them such sinful pleasures.  For sin is lodged deep in the heart of men, and they will not be easily shaken from it (Jeremiah 17:9); yea, cannot be torn from it till God moves the heart of a man and makes a saint out of what was before reprobate.  So unregenerate man pines away for his sin, and is angry when he is denied what he perceives as his right – the right to indulgence and consumption, to pride and contempt, to lust and sensuality.  And he will demand his rights, even if it kills him – even if he must kill others to get them.

So the warning comes to the faithful: “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins.”  Babylon is no place for the people of God.  “Go out … and be separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).  The warning continues, “Lest you share in her plagues.”  The wise man asks: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned” (Proverbs 6:27)?  The righteous owe her no pity, and if one does pity her, one wonders if it be for some longing to be with her.  Let evil men pine for Babylon, but let God’s people flee even from her appearance, lest we be burned with her (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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