Encounter With God

Encounter With God 3rd October 2020 – Power-Crazed Worldliness

Encounter With God 3rd October 2020, Encounter With God 3rd October 2020 – Power-Crazed Worldliness

Encounter With God 3rd October 2020 Today Devotional

TODAY’S TOPIC: POWER-CRAZED WORLDLINESS

Opening Prayer
Lord, keep our affections centered on You.

Read REVELATION 18 Lament Over Fallen Babylon
18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

“‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’[a] She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“‘Come out of her, my people,’[b] 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.

Encounter With God 3rd October 2020 – Power-Crazed Worldliness

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;[c] 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.

Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:

“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’

11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:

“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’

“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:

“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens!
Rejoice, you people of God!
Rejoice, apostles and prophets!
For God has judged her
with the judgment she imposed on you.”

The Finality of Babylon’s Doom
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:

“With such violence
the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again.
22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No worker of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.

23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again.
Your merchants were the world’s important people.
By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people,
of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

Footnotes
a Revelation 18:2 Isaiah 21:9
b Revelation 18:4 Jer. 51:45
c Revelation 18:7 See Isaiah 47:7,8.

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate: Encounter With God 3rd October 2020
Thank God that we are citizens before we are consumers. We are called to look out for others, not just ourselves. Remember whose citizen you are.

Think Further
As Exodus 15 celebrated the destruction of the Egyptian army, so the fall of Babylon also pro-vokes shouting. God has spoken: let the world tremble. A lifestyle built on possessions, position, and pleasure will not last. Its fall is tragic, dramatic, and ironic. It would be AD 476 before Rome would finally fall, but John speaks of it as a past event. The Eternal City turns out to have a shelf life! Seemingly invulnerable, the seeds of its destruction have been sown. Its desolation warns all imitators. Get too close, and you risk infection.

Christians must acquire a critical objectivity about their culture, and then dare to be different. The city’s sins carry a very heavy price tag. Kings, traders, and travelers stand disillusioned while watching. If money and power mean everything to you – then prepare to lose the game. While some celebrate, others mourn. Those who have benefited from Babylon’s way of life weep and wail over its passing. Having gotten used to luxury and immorality, having lined their pockets with their profits, where do they turn now? Where are the markets for their luxury items, or even worse, their human trafficking? Where is the finance centre of the world now? Here we see economic collapse and a power vacuum, all created in one hour – but here also is retribution.

The chapter concludes with celebration: those who have been exploited by Babylon rejoice. God has judged Babylon for the way it has treated them. This is not about revenge but about God’s justice and judgment. It causes us to stop and think. In a moment, the life of the city collapses – good and bad together. Vanity Fair is no more. Its marks are obvious: idolatry, immorality, ex-travagance, sorcery, tyranny, and arrogance. Let those who think they stand take heed lest they fall.

Apply
We give thanks that we look forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Closing Prayer
Lord, Your people understand that this world’s commercial and economic system is doomed and will collapse one day, but Your kingdom endures forever.

ONE YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN
Isaiah 65, 66; Hebrews 13

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Encounter With God 2nd October 2020

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