“Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her.”
God listens to the prayers and longings of His people. As He is a just God, so we also love justice and equity. He tells us to rejoice when justice is done and sin is paid for, and with the destruction of Babylon, justice is carried out and the blood of the martyrs and the persecution of God’s people is paid for. Sin is being punished and restitution is being made for the sufferings of the people of God. All the heavens join together in praises to God, the saints, which is all God’s holy people, the Apostles, the twelve instigated by God and the prophets of God.
A mighty angel appears in the vision carrying a millstone what he plunges into the sea. This analogy reminds us of the dire warning of Jesus to anyone who would hurt His children.
“Jesus said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
There are consequences to harming the people of God and causing them to suffer or even offending them. Jesus said it would be better to be deliberately drowned than for one of His little ones to be offended or to stumble in what they believe or how they live. Anyone who abuses a child of God is in line for this judgment.
The angel here is displaying the same idea about the judgment of Babylon. Babylon will be thrown down in great violence and bloodshed and no-one will be able to save her, because she is under the judgment of God and not just earthly enemies. She will be utterly destroyed and taken out of the way so that she does not trouble anyone any more.
All her vaunted wealth and show will be gone. No more music or the taste of her delicacies will be felt or known. No one will make any beautiful things in that city any more, for they will all be destroyed with her. Craftspeople and Artists will no longer work there, and nothing of value of beauty will be made.
There will be no more commerce or trading or the outworking of people’s livelihoods, but all the wheels of industry will be stopped. No one will have a means of supporting themselves or of living any kind of life, for she is now destitute.
The light of lamps will no longer be shining, and all good has long gone from her streets. The message of the gospel will have been put out for good. The preaching of the pure and clear gospel of the grace of God is no more. There is no hope of salvation and forgiveness for they have long been given up. No more joyous times or wedding feasts to exalt in, but only rottenness and the fiery flame of penury.
The voice of the bridegroom is the sweet voice of CHRIST who calls people to himself and offers forgiveness and peace with God. There is no peace with God in this city, and the inhabitants of that great and powerful city have passed over the mercy of God for the filthy lucre of this life. They are rewarded according to their sin and they have lost it all. Once they were once princes as merchants, and successful business people but now it is swept away in a moment.
Whatever they achieved was all for nothing and just served the will of Satan to deceive the people of earth and cause them to be lost from God forever.
Her streets ran with the blood of the prophets and the people of God for the inhabitants hated God and lived only for themselves. The light of God was not valued so now it has gone out. The sound of the gospel was not venerated or obeyed and the call of mercy was ignored, so now it is forever silent. The day of mercy has passed and the door of salvation has closed for these people. This is the reality for all who forget God and refuse Him when they hear the truth.
“It shall be, if you shall forget the LORD your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you wouldn’t listen to the voice of the LORD your God.”
God holds every individual person to account for their sinful rebellion and unbelief. Why do we run and reject the one who saves us and makes us right with Him forever? It is such folly and the enemy keeps our minds in a turmoil of unbelief, lest we should turn and be saved, for his hatred of us as the humans that God has created in his image, is sure and deep. Satan is described as a roaring lion who seeks to devour, and so he is.
Beloved, we must not be found weeping at the demise of the evil around us and the falling down of the strongholds of Satan. This world is heading to punishment and judgment and we cannot stop the judgment of God, indeed we should glory in the fact that justice will be served and the mercy of God will save His people. May we be counted among them, and our rejoicing in the LORD will be complete.
“Let God arise! Let his enemies be scattered! Let them who hate him also flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad. Let them rejoice before God. Yes, let them rejoice with gladness. Sing to God! Sing praises to his name! Extol him who rides on the clouds: to the LORD, his name! Rejoice before him!”