“He gave a mighty shout: “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a hideout for every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her. Because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich.””
Revelation 18:2-3 NLT
The bright angel had a declaration to make. He spoke out, shouted even, the final condemnation of the world religious system, which had finally collapsed, taking with it everything that is foul and corrupt. In his vision, John saw a literal city called Babylon. There is of course a possibility that this was the case, but the result will ultimately be the same. In John’s vision, Babylon imploded and ended up as a smouldering pile of ruins, spiritually, religiously, morally, economically, nationally, and even globally. Babylon is fallen.
The language John used to described the fall of Babylon in his vision is graphic. You can almost see the horror and disgust dripping from his pen, or feel the shivers of dread running up the spines of the observers. The words he used, such as “foul”, “dreadful”, “immorality”, “adultery” – they all capture the event. But he also observes something we might see little harm in – words such as “luxury” and “rich“.
The bright angel, with his shouts, exposed all that is wrong with the world religious system. I use the word “religious” because that is what our world culture has become. The religion of secularism, materialism, and godlessness, and including a spiritual system conforming to what Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:5, They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. …..”. And, ominously, a component part of “Babylon” is those things that make our life comfortable – luxury and wealth.
Jesus taught about the power of money in His parable taught in Matthew 6:21, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” and in Matthew 6:24, He said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money“.
We pilgrims have to be discerning when it comes to having comfortable lives. If we are fortunate enough to enjoy luxury and wealth, we must hold what we have with open hands. Always aware that our riches, no matter how modest, must be under our control, not controlling us. One day, the world system, of which luxury and wealth is a part, will collapse. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-20, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal”. Eternal Heavenly treasure will be the only commodity of value when we pass from this life.
Dear Father. We know that You wish to richly bless Your children. Please help us to be good stewards of what You have entrusted to us in this life, and help us discern and seek out those things of Heavenly value. In Jesus’ name. Amen.