Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Revelation 18:9-20

Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

We continue this week with John’s revelation of the destruction of the Holy City described with much drama last week. Clearly, the kings of the earth (you and me) have become obsessed with this world (luxury) and worship it. To see it destroyed has destroyed us as well. It suggests that the “city” has provided security and protection. This is now gone. There is no security in this world.

He describers how the merchants of the earth who benefited most from the “city” now mourn their loss. Again, John uses very physical means to describe the valuable things that were lost. Everything from gold to gems to horses. He uses physical senses to describe spiritual reality. Isn’t it interesting that he ends the list long list of valuable things with “and bodies and souls of men.” Is this a reference to slave trade? Human life on a list of commodities. Yes, the Lord is angry for a purpose.

The reference to the ships and their cargos suggests that the perceived human value of the “city” was not limited only to those in it but spread throughout the world. The destruction of the “city” is a sign to the whole world that the Lord’s dominion is over all.

As the kings and merchants watch their world being destroyed they see only what they personally will lose. They are blind to the reason for it. They are also blind to what might come after it. What will replace the “city”? While there is suffering on earth, they rejoice in heaven. “God has judged her for the way she treated you.” This seems harsh and cruel on a human level. John however isn’t dealing on a human level. Following judgment and death there are rebirth and redemption. Jesus Christ is our proof. This is to come.

John Dickie

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