Reposted from Pator Flamme
(24 verses, 2:22 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Babylon Falls
- The mighty angel announces Babylon’s fall and judgement (1-8).
- The kings of the earth lament Babylon (9-10).
- The merchants lament her (11-17).
- The sea traders lament her (17-20).
- The mighty angel concludes with a sermon of judgement against Babylon (21-24).
- When I consider the image of the Babylon, a prostitute arrayed in sensuous splendor, and the words of judgement against her, it’s clear that she personifies the world that contends for your fear, love, and trust over and against Christ. You know her from her fruits; blasphemy, rebellion, sexual immorality, greed, covetousness, and an insatiable thirst for martyrs’ blood. She’s not the same as your corrupted flesh that wages war against the new man resurrected in your baptism. Nor is she another form of the devil. Nevertheless, the world, the flesh, and Satan are all in league with each other, conspiring to tear down both the order of God’s Law and the consolation of his Gospel. But the prostitute Babylon, like her allies, each finds her end and condemnation where Christ comes to judge.
- In the time of St. John, Babylon was Roman society that demanded sacrifice to demon altars and participation in sexual immorality. Though one society gives way to the next, Babylon promises the same things today as she promised back then, and each one of her pronouncements is an attack on Christ. You know how our society demands conformity of our minds to the fiction of gender fluidity and the tolerant sexuality. You know how the world promises long life and security once you’ve surrounded yourself with wealth obtained by greed. You know that blasphemy is not only tolerated, but praised, and that the world gets drunk on the blood of the prophets and saints.
- The words of judgement in this chapter are at the same time condemnation against the world that hates Christ, but also comfort for his saints (vs. 20). Though we suffer the world’s temptations and attacks in this life, we know that Christ has judged her and her days are numbered. When blasphemy, sexual immorality, and greed threaten to become our gods, we must pray the words of the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and trust that our heavenly Father hears us and will give us his Holy Spirit for Christ’s sake.
- Prayer: Merciful Lord, when the world tempts me with its transient pleasures, grant me strength to resist idolatry and faith to trust in Christ so that I may lay hold of the eternal pleasures obtained by his blood and merit. Amen.
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-Pastor A. Brian Flamme