June 24, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I suppose this blog could be a continuation of the Know Your Enemy! series that we finished last Friday. It has to do with the way God sees things as opposed to how Satan views it all. But 21 blogs is plenty for a series! So this one will stand alone.
Babylon in Revelation – stands not just for the ancient Mesopotamian city made famous by King Nebachudnezzar – but stands for all of human society – political, economic, military – and anything else man, apart from God, has organized in this world. In Revelation 18, Babylon has fallen. Society has crumbled under the pressure of God’s judgements poured out upon the nations. A powerful angel, it says in Revelation 18:2:
…cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great, is fallen, is
fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, and the prison for every foul
spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.’
First “the rulers of the earth” in Revelation 18:9 and 10 bemoan the fate of their dominion. Then in Revelation 18:11-19 it is the merchants’ turn. They lament that the economic system had so broken down that buying and selling that had made them rich – and as had been carried on for centuries – had all but disappeared. Consider verses 11 through 13:
And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her [Babylon], for
no one buys their merchandise anymore: the merchandise of gold and silver,
precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind
of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most
precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble, and cinnamon and incense, fragrant
oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep,
horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
There are 28 commodities mentioned. But in the thinking and writing of the day, such a list was presented in order of importance from the perspective of the one making the list! Look at what is first on the list – “gold and silver”! Look what is last on the list – “bodies and souls of men”! So what is most important in the mind of mankind – driven by Satan and apart from God? Money!!! And what is least important to the devil and godless man? Men, women and children – human beings! Their bodies (physical needs) are expendable, but especially their eternal souls are worthless!
Now, let’s look at just two examples from everyday life. If alcohol and tobacco for human consumption were invented today and presented to the Food and Drug Administration for approval, how far do you think the people who were presenting the products would get? Why they would be laughed right out of the place! Alcohol and tobacco do more damage to the physical being of people than perhaps any other two commodities on the face of the earth!!! But there is money to be made! And so these two commodities are presented, accepted and promoted – to the detriment of the physical being of man!
What about “the souls of men”? Is the world concerned about the eternal state of man or are they more concerned with the here and now? It is like the world says – and so the devil who drives the world society – “To hell with people! As long as we make money!” Convoluted Concern, or priority turned on its head!!!
So with what is God concerned? Take this list in Revelation 18:12 and 13 and completely reverse it! People are of greatest concern to God – their eternal souls first, and then their physical needs – just the opposite of how Satan thinks! And “gold and silver”? In Psalm 50:12 it says, “…the world is Mine, and all its fulness.” He owns it all!!! As far as God is concerned, “gold and silver” are last on His list! People are His chief concern!!!
As Christians – followers of the Lord Jesus Christ – should not we align our thinking with God’s? Should we not stop expending so much of our energies on the pursuit of the riches of this world, and be more concerned with what is of greatest value to God – “the bodies and souls of men”? Do not be caught up in the devil’s – and the world’s – Convoluted Concern!