“She glorified herself and lived in luxury, so match it now with torment and sorrow. She boasted in her heart, ‘I am queen on my throne. I am no helpless widow, and I have no reason to mourn.’ Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day— death and mourning and famine. She will be completely consumed by fire, for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.”
Revelation 18:7-8 NLT
It looks as though the vision portrays an immediate, plague-induced collapse of the world system called Babylon. Judgement and fire follow. The world system and religion glorified itself. Pride and boasting prevailed. The throne of individual lives became the focus. Self satisfaction was the norm. But our mighty God was having none of this behaviour, and His fire, following the plagues, instantly burns it all up. The fire followed God’s righteous judgements.
The world system is dominated by “Me! Me! Me!”. People stay awake at night thinking of ways to improve their lot in life, even if it means trampling on someone else in the process. We boast about what we have achieved. We take pride in our conquests. Selfishness rules the lives of those in the world. But 1 Corinthians 3:13 reads, “But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” Obviously, the world system has, ultimately, no value at all. The world system called Babylon disappeared in a puff of smoke. Gone forever without trace.
There is a cost in following God’s ways. And one thing for sure, glorifying self will not be a part of it. Jesus taught about the cost of following Him. In Matthew 10:38-39, he said, “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” There is no room in a pilgrim’s life for selfish living. It’s Jesus’ way, His way alone. So we pilgrims ask ourselves the question – who is on the throne of our lives? In response, we live out our lives, always at the foot of the Cross. Always conscious of what He has done for us. When we come to God in repentance, accepting His death for our sins, we die to our selfish nature, and instead put God fairly and squarely on the throne of our lives.
We do not need to fear the fires of Judgement Day. We are not Babylon followers. Instead, we follow God’s ways, storing treasure in Heaven, safe from the fires of judgement.
Dear Father God. Please forgive us for our selfish ways. It’s Your way, or no way. For ever and ever. Amen.