Revelation 18:4-8: Love not the world.
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
‘“Come out of her, my people,”
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
“I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow;
I will never mourn.”
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. NIV
I seem to remember a quotation from someone which went some thing like this: ‘The unexamined life is hardly worth living.’ That came into my mind this morning as I thought and prayed about the urgent call in verse 4:
‘’Come out of her, my people, so that you don’t become embroiled in her sins, and so that you don’t receive any of her plagues.’’ (Tom Wright’s translation). This echoes the summons of Isaiah 48:20, 52:11,20 & Jeremiah 51:45. It also reminds me of John’s words in in 1 John 2:15-17: ‘’Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.’’
‘The unexamined life is hardly worth living.’ We need to be able to take a step back, to be objective and discerning, so that we are not unthinkingly sucked into the ‘Babylonian’ lifestyle. We need eyes to see where worldliness might be encroaching, and the resolve to decisively turn away, with God’s help, from things which are liable to His judgment. As Tom Wright says, the whole system is hollow, riddled with deceit and lies, and heading for disaster.
One further thing to point out from these verses is that Babylon’s downfall is self-inflicted. Ultimately she brings the judgments on herself.
PRAYER: ‘The world is ever near me, around me and within; O Jesus draw thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.’