Knowing Right from Wrong
In Revelation 18-19, we see God’s destruction of Babylon the Great, the corrupt world system and all of the nations engaged in that corruption. The sins of Babylon the Great are listed in detail.
As a result of the actions committed by the rich and powerful countries of the world, they are and will be judged by God. It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Between 750 and 687 years before Christ, the prophet Micah spelled out what type of heart attitude and behavior God requires and what heart attitude and behavior God detests, and what will happen to those who pursue wickedness. Micah brings God’s “lawsuit” against His people.
What Does the Lord Require?
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Destruction of the Wicked
9 The voice of the Lord cries to the city—
and it is sound wisdom to fear your name:
“Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it
10 Can I forget any longer the treasures. of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12 Your rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
15 You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16 For you have kept the statutes of Omri,
and all the works of the house of Ahab;
and you have walked in their counsels,
that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing;
so you shall bear the scorn of my people.” (Micah 6:6-16 ESV).
In Revelation Chapters 18-19, we see God’s final judgment upon this exploitation. From these passages, we can learn what God considers to be worthy of judgment. Consider the above words which were written by Micah. Then consider what John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen in Revelation. Compare the similarities. Consider what we see in our modern world, all around us.
Pause to ponder.
Do current global behaviors merit judgment? What does God think about human trafficking? Are human sweatshops and enslaved workers acceptable to God? Are unethical business practices, such as scales that weigh heavy, pleasing to God? Do we cheat people? Do we pursue wicked acts?
What part do we play in this? Do we know the source of what we purchase? Do we pillage the earth, rather than tending the Garden given to us by God?
Revelation 18-19 (link)
18:1-2, After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. 2 And he called out with a mighty voice,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
3 For all nations have drunk[fallen by]
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see.’
8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”
9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,
“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”
11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.[slaves and human lives treated as mere bodies to exploit]
14 “The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”
15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,
16 “Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”
And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,
“What city was like the great city?”
19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,
“Alas, alas, for the great city
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”
21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
23 and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.” (Revelation 18:1-24 ESV).
Babylon the Great killed/kills the prophets and the saints and is responsible for all of the murders ever committed, both then and now. The large and powerful city is prominent as a place for buying and selling in ways that take advantage of sweatshop workers, enslaves children, trafficks humans, and exploits those who have no power to demand a fair and equitable wage.
As in ancient times, every large city or corrupt government on earth has vestiges of these practices occurring right now, today, every day. We’re getting a type of preview of this coming judgment during this pandemic, the border, and the financial collapse headed our way all at once.
How can we “come out” of Babylon the Great? What can we do to seek justice? How can we avoid contributing to the crimes against the needy, the poor, the exploited? What would the Lord have us to do? In what ways are believers to act?