The previous post marked the suddenness with which Babylon’s destruction will happen and how the merchants who did business with her would mourn from afar. Heaven, however, will rejoice.
Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”
Note that as heaven is called to rejoice, the apostles and prophets are especially singled out to rejoice. Why? Because God has determined that the time is right to avenge their persecution and martyrdom. It is important to note that we are never to take vengeance in our own hands; only God has the authority to exercise vengeance.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
When God steps in to judge with vengeance, it should not make us sad or of heavy spirit. We should rejoice. I admit that this is not an easy truth to swallow when I think of how that righteous judgment could impact those I care about.
Revelation 18:21 “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
As John continues to watch, he sees a mighty angel pick up a great stone similar to a millstone and throw it into the sea to illustrate the sudden violence that will result in Babylon’s destruction. Significant point—She will be found no more at all. This will fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Isaiah 13:19-20 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.”
Jeremiah 50:13 “Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.”
Jeremiah 50:40 “As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.”
Jeremiah 51:26 “And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.”
Jeremiah 51:29 “And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.”
Jeremiah 51:63-64 “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.”
John goes on to elaborate on the destruction of Babylon the city.
Revelation 18:22–24 “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
These verses emphasize the complete and total destruction that will befall the city of Babylon. Although it has never been the center of power and importance it once was, the area of Babylon has continued to be inhabited. In fact, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city since he thought he was Nebuchadnezzar reincarnate. I believe these verses indicate that it will once again be a thriving, powerful metropolis that will be utterly destroyed to the point that it will never vibrate with the sounds of life again—no music, no craftsmen, no one to grind grain or make oil, no one to burn a candle, no sounds of family—nothing.
Joseph Seiss (1823-1904) summed it up as follows: “When did Babylon ever fall with so complete a fall, or meet with such an utter obliteration from the earth, “as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah?” Sodom and Gomorrah were completely blotted out. But this has never yet been the case with Babylon. Such was not its fate when the Medes and Persians seized it from the hands of the infamous Belshazzar, for they made it one of their royal cities. In the time of Alexander it still stood, and was the chosen capital of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, the second city of Alexander’s dominions, where he himself lived and died. It continued to be a populous place under the Syrian kings, who succeeded Alexander in the rule over it. In the time of the apostles it was still a populous place, for both Peter and Bartholomew preached the Gospel there, and there Peter wrote his first Epistle. As late as A.D. 250, there was a Christian church there, and an influential bishopric for many years thereafter. Five hundred years after Christ there were Jewish academies there, who issued the celebrated Babylonian Talmud. Here, then, was a lengthening out of the existence of Babylon as a populated city for more than a thousand years subsequent to the taking of it by Cyrus. And even to this present hour there is a city in the middle of the area occupied by old Babylon containing 10,000 people, and which pays to its governor a revenue of 342,000 Turkish piastres, more than $17,000, a year. Shepherds do make their folds there, as testified by all modern travelers, and the Arabians do pitch their tents there. It is not an utter desolation without inhabitant, and never has been since Nimrod laid its first foundations. The sentence upon Babylon is therefore not yet fulfilled, and cannot be unless that city comes up again into something of its former consequence.”
Babylon was able to seduce the great men and nations of the world through the use of medicines, drugs, magic and witchcraft. This is where we have to remind ourselves that she didn’t seduce the world without the help of the beast that she rides. Through her and others he has used all these things in his efforts to undermine the workings of God, to destroy His plan for salvation, and to establish himself as God. I am reminded of the words of Isaiah.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
(to be continued…)