Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
"Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, 'Thus with
violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down,and shall not be found anymore'" (Rev. 18:21).
For some important reason the Lord has devoted the entire 18th chapter of Revelation to a heart-moving description of the financial and economic ruin of the most prosperous civilizations of all time.
Note two important lessons: (1) This ruin follows speedily on the national abandonment of the principles of religious liberty which have made it possible for the progressive nations to become so prosperous and secure. (2) Our present economic and cultural securities are dependant on the continued blessing of God, holding back that tornado of passion symbolized by the loosing of the "four winds."
Babylon's sin has been pride in her wealth, and a growing selfishness. Selfish human nature has been the same through all ages, and now at last judgment comes upon this pride. Revelation 18 is God's comment upon the rampant materialism of our modern "civilized" world.
Babylon has always been the enemy of God's truth and of His people. It is not a petty, selfish vengeance that causes those who inhabit heaven to rejoice over her fall. Every right-minded man and woman is glad when evildoers are finally brought to justice, and principles of right are upheld.
No figure could be more vivid than that of a mighty angel taking up a great millstone and casting it into the sea. No more will the music of her choirs and pipe organs be heard in her giant buildings; no more will master craftsmen labor to build her ornate cathedrals; no more will soft candles flicker in the mysterious shadows of her altars. What an astonishing disclosure! The source of all evil in the world has been Babylon.
Satan has done his most successful work when he has professed to be "an angel of light," attempting to misrepresent and impersonate Christ Himself. The vast majority of earth's inhabitants will in future confuse Satan for their God. What will lead them to make this tragic choice? Love of self!
Only in the light of the cross can man learn what to do with his natural-born selfishness. There self is crucified with Christ, accomplished by faith. But because Babylon has professed to honor the sign of the cross and yet has denied the reality of the truth of the cross, the world will have been deceived to its eternal ruin. Thus Revelation depicts the great battle between the principles of its Hero, the Lamb, and those of the world's hero, Satan.
--Robert J. Wieland
From: The Gospel in Revelation, 1989.
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