As kids, we heard our parents say at the height of our disobedience or messing around, “I have had just about enough!” Because I was “that kid”, my first thought after the shouting was “just about enough”? Does that mean I’ve come close to the line but have a little bit more to go before crossing it? So, we went a little further. Then the boom was lowered with the angry shout of simply, “ENOUGH!” We knew the end had come.
Funny, I should think of this as I read how God pretty much says the same thing in the next passage of the revelation. ENOUGH!, He seems to shout as he commands His angel to destroy all that represents sin, all that looks at sin, all that grows their wealth from sin, all that looks with lust at sin, all that partakes in sin and all that worships sin. Enough! The end of darkness, nasty living, idolatry, blasphemy is coming to justice. The cries of God’s people for justice and revenge has been heard. God’s people left it for Him as he commanded in His Word…”Vengeance is Mine.” He delivers.
Revelation 18, The Message
Doom to the City of Darkness
18 1-8 Following this I saw another Angel descend from Heaven. His authority was immense, his glory flooded earth with brightness, his voice thunderous:
Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon, ruined!
A ghost town for demons is all that’s left!
A garrison of carrion spirits,
garrison of loathsome, carrion birds.
All nations drank the wild wine of her whoring;
kings of the earth went whoring with her;
entrepreneurs made millions exploiting her.
Just then I heard another shout out of Heaven:
Get out, my people, as fast as you can,
so you don’t get mixed up in her sins,
so you don’t get caught in her doom.
Her sins stink to high Heaven;
God has remembered every evil she’s done.
Give her back what she’s given,
double what she’s doubled in her works,
double the recipe in the cup she mixed;
Bring her flaunting and wild ways
to torment and tears.
Because she gloated, “I’m queen over all,
and no widow, never a tear on my face,”
In one day, disasters will crush her—
death, heartbreak, and famine—
Then she’ll be burned by fire, because God,
the Strong God who judges her,
has had enough.
9-10 “The kings of the earth will see the smoke of her burning, and they’ll cry and carry on, the kings who went night after night to her brothel. They’ll keep their distance for fear they’ll get burned, and they’ll cry their lament:
Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
City of Babylon, strong city!
In one hour it’s over, your judgment come!
11-17 “The traders will cry and carry on because the bottom dropped out of business, no more market for their goods: gold, silver, precious gems, pearls; fabrics of fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet; perfumed wood and vessels of ivory, precious woods, bronze, iron, and marble; cinnamon and spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots. And slaves—their terrible traffic in human lives.
Everything you’ve lived for, gone!
All delicate and delectable luxury, lost!
Not a scrap, not a thread to be found!
“The traders who made millions off her kept their distance for fear of getting burned, and cried and carried on all the more:
Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
Dressed in the latest fashions,
adorned with the finest jewels,
in one hour such wealth wiped out!
17-19 “All the ship captains and travelers by sea, sailors and toilers of the sea, stood off at a distance and cried their lament when they saw the smoke from her burning: ‘Oh, what a city! There was never a city like her!’ They threw dust on their heads and cried as if the world had come to an end:
Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
All who owned ships or did business by sea
Got rich on her getting and spending.
And now it’s over—wiped out in one hour!
20 “O Heaven, celebrate! And join in, saints, apostles, and prophets! God has judged her; every wrong you suffered from her has been judged.”
21-24 A strong Angel reached for a boulder—huge, like a millstone—and heaved it into the sea, saying,
Heaved and sunk, the great city Babylon,
sunk in the sea, not a sign of her ever again.
Silent the music of harpists and singers—
you’ll never hear flutes and trumpets again.
Artisans of every kind—gone;
you’ll never see their likes again.
The voice of a millstone grinding falls dumb;
you’ll never hear that sound again.
The light from lamps, never again;
never again laughter of bride and groom.
Her traders robbed the whole earth blind,
and by black-magic arts deceived the nations.
The only thing left of Babylon is blood—
the blood of saints and prophets,
the murdered and the martyred.
What do we learn?
–Those that are resolved to partake with wicked men in their sins must receive their plagues.
–When the sins of a people reach up to heaven, the wrath of God will reach down to the earth.
–Though private revenge is forbidden, yet God will have his people act under him, when called to it, in pulling down his and their inveterate and implacable enemies, Rev. 18:6.
–God will proportion the punishment of sinners to the measure of their wickedness, pride, and security, Rev. 18:7.
–The pleasures of sin are but for a season, and they will end in dismal sorrow.
–All those who rejoice in the success of the church’s enemies will share with them in their downfall; and those who have most indulged themselves in pride and pleasure are the least able to bear calamities; their sorrows will be as excessive as their pleasure were before.
–What was the cause of their mourning; not their sin, but their punishment. They did not lament their fall into idolatry, and luxury, and persecution, but their fall into ruin—the loss of their traffic and of their wealth and power.
–The spirit of antichrist is a worldly spirit, and their sorrow is a mere worldly sorrow; they did not lament for the anger of God, that had now fallen upon them, but for the loss of their outward comfort.
–The fall of Babylon was an act of God’s vindictive justice. God was then avenging his people’s cause. They had committed their cause to him to whom vengeance belongs. They did not take pleasure in the miseries of any, yet they had reason to rejoice in the discoveries of the glorious justice of God.
–An angel from heaven took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, “Thus shall Babylon be thrown down with violence, and be found no more at all; the place shall be no longer habitable by man, no work shall be done there, no comfort enjoyed, no light seen there, but utter darkness and desolation, as the reward of her great wickedness, first in deceiving the nations with her sorceries, and secondly in destroying and murdering those whom she could not deceive,” Rev. 18:24. Such abominable sins deserved so great a ruin. — Matthew Henry, Commentator
Dear Heavenly Father,
Have you had enough of the sins of this world? Is Your judgement coming closer? I ask myself this question as I lament over children being sold into sex trafficking and slavery, as leaders squabble over what will make them richer, not for helping others, as leaders worship themselves instead of You, for broken families because of all kinds of sins of self satisfactions, and for churches that are failing to look outward and insisting on looking only inward for maintaining traditions of the past. And then I look inward at myself. Am I all I can be in Your eyes? What am I holding on to, worshiping instead of totally committing myself to You? May Your Holy Spirit lead us in every detail of our lives today. Help us to be all You want us to be.
In Jesus Name, Amen