The Commercial Babylon
Revelation 18:9-24
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall mourn her, and lament for her…

1. We should first of all learn that the hold of God on all that we have and are is absolute. We are but tenants-at-will. The proud and conceited talk as if the world were ours — "My river is my own, and I have made it for myself" — is an abomination to the Lord. God has never waived His rights in entrusting to us His loans. Let merchants, stockbrokers, bankers, bondholders, traders learn this lesson. At any moment God may bring all our possessions to nought; and He will do that at His own time, not waiting for ours.

2. It may well yield us matter for lamentation that the use of so much earthly capital is a perverted one. Many of God's gifts are put in alliance with overreaching, corruption, and fraud. But when things of wealth and beauty become the instruments of apostacy it is sad indeed.

3. Let us learn to look at whatever is beautiful and costly and artistic as precious in the truest sense only as it is allied to or in harmony with righteousness. Beauty and wealth are only of genuine value when employed in accordance with God's will and Word.

4. Let us take care that, so far as we are concerned, we have no share in this heart-apostacy of Babylon the great, even in the commercial world. The voice cries now, "Come out of her, my people" (Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 1:8; Jeremiah 51:6, 45; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). If we would not share her plagues we must not share her sins. There are those who are in Babylon the great, the slaves of godless gain or godless pleasure. There are those who belong to the new and eternal city, the New Jerusalem, who engrave on the bells of the horses, "Holiness to the Lord," and whose daily toil is being sanctified for Him. It may cost something to renounce all fellowship with Babylon. But it is worth infinitely more than it costs. Yea, to be right is so transcendently great, that the question of cost should scarce be deemed worth a thought. Better die with Christ than reign with Caesar.

(S. Conway, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

WEB: The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning,

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