'A Year with Jesus' for 11/26/2014
Every Babylon Must Fall
Note from Jesus
Dear Precious Follower,
Over the centuries, one powerful nation after another — each symbolized by a powerful city — has arisen, and many have tried to oppress My people. Each of these cities accumulated power and wealth. They attracted the world's attention. Those in commerce bowed to the city's monetary power and markets. Those who dealt in trade depended upon the city's ability to provide networking and trade partners. Those who moved the commerce delighted in the city's power to connect them to clients and bring them wealth as they grew rich on the stability, transportation hub, and network of clients provided by the city. Many of these groups, however, prostituted themselves with the city. They were involved with this evil city for their benefit. They loved that the city provided the infrastructure, networks, and currency for them to get rich. Yet so many of these cities over history oppressed, persecuted, and murdered My people.
The ancient city of Babylon became the symbol of such evil cities. Babylon was ruthless as a city, nation, and army with those it conquered. Babylon felt unconquerable, invulnerable, and unstoppable. So throughout history, Babylon has been the symbolic term for any evil political, military, and financial power that seemed unstoppable. Yet in a mere seventy years from the time Babylon conquered the chosen people (Israel) and completely destroyed the chosen city (Jerusalem) and the chosen place (the Temple) of the Father, Babylon was conquered. The arrogance, brutality, and raw power of Babylon came crashing down and the people of Israel were allowed to return home and rebuild.
In today's verses, you will be reading about a new Babylon. At one level it was the Babylon that oppressed My people in the first century. At another level, the principles that you read in these verses — that come from Revelation 18 — apply to every Babylon. No city, no human power, no financial center, and no center of world trade will stand when it oppresses My people. Though from a human standpoint that city may appear for a time to be impossible to stop and too strong to defeat, I will make sure it will not last as a powerful presence of evil. No city or nation will stand that oppresses, persecutes, and martyrs My faithful witnesses. This has been true throughout history. It was true for the people who received this Revelation that John recorded. It will be true until I return in final victory. So do not despair. Every Babylon will fall. Justice will be enacted for the evil perpetuated against My people.
Verses to Live
As you read these verses, remember that the first recipients of the Revelation given to John were being persecuted. Some were even facing martyrdom. They faced a military power that seemed invincible — Rome. Yet the malicious, capricious, and vicious powers that held sway in Rome were stopped. (This included the powers in Asia Minor allied with Rome and seeking to impress and that were determined to eradicate My disciples.) Christianity thrived and would soon become the primary faith associated with the Roman Empire. The same has been true down through the centuries and has been true even in your day. So as you read these verses, remember the words of hope from a dark time in the Old Testament:
The deepest pains may linger through the night,
Remember, every Babylon will fall. No power can prevail against Me and those who are Mine!
but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.
Next I [John] saw another messenger descending from heaven. I knew he possessed great authority because his glory illuminated the earth.
Heavenly Messenger (with a powerful voice):
Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great city!
Then I heard another voice from heaven urge,
It has become a habitat for demons,
A haunt for every kind of foul spirit,
a prison for every sort of unclean and hateful bird.
For all the nations have drunk deeply
from the wine of the wrath of her immorality,
And the kings of the earth have disgraced themselves by engaging in gross sexual acts with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown fat and rich, profiting off the power purchased with her luxury.
My people, get away from her — fast.
Make sure you do not get caught up in her sins.
Put some distance between you so that you do not share in her plagues,
For her sins are higher than the highest mountain. They reach far into the heavens,
and God has not forgotten even one of her missteps.
Deal out to her what she has dealt out to others,
and repay her double according to her deeds.
In the cup where she mixed her drink, mix her a double.
Whatever glory she demanded and whatever luxury she lived,
give back to her the same measure in torment and sorrow.
Secretly she says in her heart:
I rule as queen;
Because of this arrogance, in a single day, plagues will overwhelm her.
I am not like a widow;
I will never experience grief.
Her portion will be death and sorrow and famine,
And she will be incinerated with fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who exacts judgment on her.
Then a mighty messenger picked up a huge stone — it looked like a great millstone — and he cast it into the sea.
Mighty Messenger [an angel of God]:
Watch and see. This is how Babylon, the great city,
will be thrown down; violently will she go down,
and they will search for her in vain.
Never again will the sound of music grace your streets.
The melodies and harmonies of the harpists and musicians and flutists and trumpeters
will never be heard again.
And never again will an artisan of any craft
be found in your markets,
And never again will the grinding of the millstone
provide rhythm to your city,
And never again will the light of a lamp
bring warm light to your houses,
And never again will the voices of the bridegroom and bride
bring joy to your festivities.
For the merchants were the magnates of the earth,
and all the nations fell prey to your sorceries.
And in her streets the blood of the prophets, saints,
and all who have been slaughtered upon the earth, ran freely.
Response in Prayer
O Father, bring down the Babylons of my day. Hear the prayers of those who are being oppressed, persecuted, and murdered for Your cause. Disrupt the powers of evil that exploit, abuse, and oppress all peoples wherever those powers entrench themselves in political, military, and religious systems. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask this in confident hope and pray in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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