Thursday, February 6, 2014
separation or engagement?
Good afternoon friends,
Today's reading brings us one step closer to the judgment of Babylon/Rome. As we've been reading, empires always collapse eventually. It's interesting that God warns God's people to leave Rome so they can escape its judgment. That's a good reminder that even passive participation in injustice is dangerous, because it involves us in evil. To me that's not usually about leaving a troubled area; we are called to engage in situations of injustice to promote justice. The reminder is that we are always involved in what's going on, either by actively engaging or by sitting back and doing nothing.
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor.2He called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird, a haunt of every foul and hateful beast. 3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury.”
4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; 5for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. 7As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so give her a like measure of torment and grief. Since in her heart she says, ‘I rule as a queen; I am no widow, and I will never see grief,’ 8therefore her plagues will come in a single day— pestilence and mourning and famine— and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
9And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; 10they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas, alas, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”