“The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning, standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.’”
The interest is in who is mourning the desolation of Babylon. It is the ten kings who have given their authority and creditability to the great church and are now therefore undermined and left with no transparency or honourable character. The kings have committed adultery with the Great Babylon, and are now paying for their infidelity to the Living God. They find themselves in the position of weeping and mourning over the demise of evil. This is not a good place to be.
All the good things in life that they have lusted for are now lost to them, for the whole political and economic and social structure has fallen with Babylon. They have lost the ability to access their favoured delicacies and luxury goods, so they are in devastation because of that situation that they now find themselves in. Reliance on these luxuries have weakened their characters and they have fallen prey to the enemy of their souls and succumbed to the advances of evil in the form of flattery and false promises. Their lives of decadent living have suddenly come to a halt.
“The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
Again we have the repetition of the “woe.” This is a monumental falling away and the fabric of society has gone down with the woman, who has now been made desolate. The people who have depended on her are now left destitute and have no means of support. They mourn and wail and yet stand far away from the sight of the destitution. They are disloyal and cowardly and show their true colours of treachery and the mindset of treason. They have associated with her for their own gain and now she is gone, they are finished. They keep away, lest they should be included with her demise, insensitive to their spiritual sate before the Holy God.
Those who trade on the sea are suffering similarly and watch in horror and terror as they see their head and leader made a fool of and being dealt with by the judgment of the mighty God. They typically put dust on their heads, the sign of deep mourning and loss. They also weep, “woe, woe, is the great city…”. Their livelihoods have disappeared in a short space of time and they lament.
This will be the end of all who put their trust in the things of this world and the blessings of this life. All who place their hope in the Beast and the false promises of Babylon will be destroyed and will have their hopes permanently dashed.
The language is couched in the sexual perversions of sinful ways. This is to shock us into realising that when we wander from the Lord we are unfaithful to Him and are committing spiritual adultery with falsehood. The Beast, the false prophet and the Great prostitute will lead many astray but it is our responsibility to remain faithful and to see through the falsehoods around us. We must hide our mind and heart in Christ and in the refuge of the Holy Word of God. We must not be accepting of what we see or hear from others without the searching truth of the Scripture to guide us. We must know the Scriptures and be secure in using them as our standard and judgement for what we encounter in the world and even in church.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare…”
“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him…”
“Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
2 Peter 3:10+14+17-18
It is very hard to find teachers to help us and give us strong food that will strengthen our inner core so that our souls will be fortified with the strong meat of the Word. We are too happy with the platitudes of so many and not the deep truths of God. If we have no one to teach us, we must ask the Father to teach us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Scripture that we have in our hands.
There is so much error and bad attitudes to so many issues and all the failures of the seven churches at the beginning of this book in the second chapter, are blatantly obvious today in our churches. We must be discerning and ensure we are following the Master, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and not just fitting in with a social set.
“… until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ,”
Beloved, we must not be caught out with the wrong set of allegiances and with the wrong mark on us! We must not find ourselves mourning for the loss of the ungodly things in our lives that God takes away. We let the things of this life sit very lightly on us. We need provision but the Lord has promised to provide and we believe Him.
We need to find ourselves lamenting over the right things, so that our hearts are always in tune with the Spirit of God and not satisfied with the provision of this life only.