The Seventh Bowl
The last words of our Lord on the cross were, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He was speaking of the end of his mission to reconcile us to the Father through his blood. The time after his resurrection is the time to be about Christian witness. This is what his parables concerning the virgins and talents were all about (Matthew 25:1-30).
Now upon the pouring of the seventh bowl, a voice from the temple says, “It is done.” But this time, there is no time afterwards. The time for sowing is over; the harvest is come. And it is welcomed with flashes of lightning, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake. We have seen this before as God sought to call people to repentance. This time, there is no call. And men are so hardened in heart and stubborn that they will not repent anyway. The end has come and we shall soon see our Lord coming in power to rule the nations with a rod of iron (19:11-16).
But God can’t end it all without remembering “the great city,” also known as “Babylon the Great.” John would have seen Rome as filling the role of “Babylon” in his day. What city fills that role today? I’m sure there are plenty, even in America. And I have said throughout these devotions that Babylon is any city—any political entity—that calls men to worship idols, to be sexually immoral, to care more for the things of this world than the next, and above all, to persecute his chosen ones. And so God “remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.” God forgets the sins of His people (Psalm 103:12) and treasures up their tears (Psalm 56:8). But the sins of the inhabitants of “Babylon,” God remembers so that He may judge them on that day. And though God’s people should never glory over God judgments of the wicked—knowing but for the grace of God go themselves—they may rejoice that they worship a holy and righteous God who vindicates His people and His great Name.
We read more of islands fleeing, mountains disappearing, and seventy pound hailstones bombarding the earth. Some might call this “apocalyptic language,” but I feel very certain that when that day arrives we shall see earth itself begin its transformation. After all, it must be made ready for the rule of our Lord.
“It is finished,” he said from the cross. “It is done,” he says from heaven’s temple. And soon, it will be.