UV 1758/10000 The Contrasting Perspectives and Priorities
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Revelation 18 v 23
The worship of money or the love of Mammon, the alternative god of the world is the source of all deceptions. It puts out the candle of light in our lives: light standing for love, integrity, grace, holiness and truth. The sorceries of merchants refers to all the means by which people try to get ahead of others in terms of materialism or wealth. Wealth itself is not a bad thing but considered a blessing for when the Lord makes a person wealthy, He adds no sorrow to it. They get caught up in the attractions of false teachings. They exchange the truth for falsehood. They seek to exalt themselves. But the foremost passion of a person ought not to be the things of this world, the pleasures of the flesh that “Babylon” stands for. Our longing should not be for the Babylon of this world but the spiritual Jerusalem, the city of heaven. We should not revel in the deceitful longings of this world, the seductive appeal of this world but live as strangers and pilgrims who find their foremost joy in the presence of the Lord, who revel in their personal relationship with the Lord and draw their strength, sustenance and well being from Him. We seek to humble ourselves before and under the rule of Since God is closer to us than our own skin, our sins are put far away, as far as the East is from the West.
The citizens of Babylon, the merchants who are prone to the sorceries or deceits of this world live by their own lights, the little candles that they light for themselves. They regard lies and half truths as their guideposts and are pierced with many sorrows, pains and misery due to this. Hence, neither the Bridegroom Jesus nor the bride, the church can delight in such. They have a self destructive appetite and are misled to pursue chimera and mirages. Their standards are relative and keep changing according to circumstances and situations. Their only goal is their gain but eventually they gain neither the world nor their souls. The kingdom of God is of little relevance. Even the mere mention of God irritates them. They are not just indifferent but hostile to the kingdom of God.
We however who believe in Jesus and rejoice in the company of the Bridegroom should always pray and work to let “His kingdom come”, implying we should usher in His rule, His principles, His ways of speaking and doing things. We should rejoice in the things He rejoices in and lament of the things He laments of. The candles of human principles cannot be a substitute for the Sun of Righteousness. We do not ask like men of the world like Pilate, “ what is the truth?” when we behold Truth embodied in Jesus walking beside us and talking with us. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all the truth and we will be freed from the “hamartia” or tragic shortcomings and deceit of this world. We will be in the world but not of the world. We will stand out as a fruit tree in a field of thorn bushes, a cedar in a forest of dry trees. The world will perish but we will flourish not just for a season but forever.
Prateep V Philip