Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 10), (Isaiah 54), (Revelation 17), (REVELATION 18)

    The great majority of human beings, apart from many in poor countries, are totally motivated to gain and enjoy wealth.  Of course we need to have some money but Paul wrote, “Keep yourself free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” [Heb 13 v.5] 
Remember our thoughts 2 days ago about those who “turned aside after gain” and today’s 2 chapters in Revelation provoked us to further thoughts.
    It seems to us, impossible to limit the final days of the judgements of God, when we read about, “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes (harlots AV) and of earth’s abominations” [17 v,5]  – to the Roman Catholic Church and the other ‘Christian’ churches.  However, there is no doubt from the abundant testimony of history from the third century onwards until recent times that the “prostitute” is “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” [v.6] those who held fast to his teachings.
The Catholic system spread over the whole earth – it includes the Eastern and Russian Orthodox Churches – and is trying to attract other churches back towards it today.  
    The greatest area of financial trouble today is the Eurozone and the Common Market was, maybe significantly, established by what is called ‘The Treaty of Rome’ in 1957. Another point is that the Greek word  Babylon in the Hebrew language is “Babel”- and we remember the reputation of Babel in Genesis. Much of the text in these chapters incline us to see this vision as also having a broader context with the whole world turning away from belief in the true God as at Babel – indeed more and more are believing there is no God, no creator at all to whom they owe their lives..  
     In Ch. 18 we read that Babylon is to “be thrown down with violence” [v.21] in such a way that “merchants … who gained wealth from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud … for in a single hour all this great wealth has been laid waste” [v.15]  This incredible event affects “all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea” [v.17]  And today we could also include all the “ships” that fly through the air carrying a great deal of cargo. Today people have made a god of money more than ever before, but Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and money” for …(you) will hate the one and love the other.” [Matt 6 v.24]. 
Money has no value as gold or silver anymore, it is not real money as in previous generations, today’s ‘money’ is borrowed and re-lent and borrowed again and has created an artificial prosperity – and “in a single hour” it will vanish like steam! When that happens, plus other ‘last day’ dramas featured in prophecy, our faith will be put to a final test, but then a “loud voice of a great multitude” will be heard “crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgements are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth …” [19 v.1,2]  
May we all make sure, by God’s grace, we are among that multitude who cry out.