Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Luxuries of Babylon

 “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 
   “standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ 
   “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: 
   “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. 
   “The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. 
   “The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 
   “and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 
   "For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 
   “and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ 
   “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’ 
   “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” 18:9-20. 

A Gigantic Financial crash

   The voice from heaven continues; these things of luxury you lusted after, they are gone now, and you will find them no more at all.  Repeatedly, we are reminded, that the inhabitants of Babylon were engrossed in the luxuries of life, at the expense of the poor people of the world.  Oh, that we Christians would heed the warning before we also experience the plagues of Babylon. 18:8.

   18:9-10 sounds as if the kings who enjoyed the selfishness of the commoners will stand back in amazement and sorrow.  Sorrow because they can no longer enjoy their accustomed affluence.  They are not concerned about the demise of the people, (when they see the smoke of her burning); they are sad because the people no longer have the means to keep them (the kings) wealthy.

   In 18:11-17 the merchants who were made rich by Babylon's selfish lifestyle, will now be poor because nobody buys their merchandise anymore.  In 17:15 we see again these words, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues."  If the waters are symbolic of multitudes of people, surely we can see that a ship could be symbolic of any method of transport that moves freight.

hese merchants used to sell everything: jewelry - stones and pearls, fabrics-fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, fragrant hardwoods from Africa for furniture-(every kind of citron wood), kitchen utensils made of ivory, utensils of expensive woods, brass, iron and marble-every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble.  

   They also sold spices and medicines-cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wines and cooking oil-wine and oil, twice sifted flour and wheat-fine flour and wheat, domestic animals and means of transport - cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves and people who had sold themselves-souls of men, for whatever reason or amount that they assumed was reasonable in the face of starvation.

Those who conveyed all this merchandise from the far reaches of the earth to the selfish empires also suffer great financial loss.  It seems interesting that they said, What is like this great city?  The word used is "what" not "who".  Cities are no longer thought of as people; cities are just money making organisms.  This indicates that most of us have become terribly callous towards the bulk of humanity.  The way the writer sees it on the video, selfish Babylon is no more;  For in one hour (very quickly), she is made desolate. 18:18-19.

   They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing because they knew and understood that since the rich nations had plunged over "the financial cliff", even they, the providers of all the things that they used to deliver, will be out of work and consequently face starvation.

The Battle of Armageddon

   The Battle of Armageddon is on its way!  It looks as if the Near East is now preparing to start it.  The masses of the industrialized countries are in turmoil. The people of the United States made the wrong decision about gun control; that decision will lead to much more heartbreak, lawlessness, and bloodshed. 
   A few years ago some native people in Canada were threatening an armed uprising against our government.  Riots, for almost any excuse, in almost every country, are now the order of the day.  Even if the turmoil does subside for a bit, it seems that it will not be long before the lid, in fury, will blow off the seething cauldron!  About this Paul wrote, But know this, that in the last days perilous (this means, hard to bear) times will come. 2 Tim. 3:1.

    When the masses are agitated because they have nothing left to live for it will be easy for them to convince themselves that going to war is a good thing; at least, in the army, they will have food to eat. 

   The Battle of Armageddon is on its way, some say it has already started!

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