March 10, 2022 – Thursday
Revelation 18:23 NIV
23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
Darkness is coming for The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. But our verse of the day does not end there. It goes on to say, The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. Notice that never is used twice, The light of a lamp will never shine in you again and The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Never is a long time and here refers to eternity.
All of this is about Babylon’s doom, how Babylon will end. Even though Babylon’s merchants were the world’s important people, The light of a lamp will never shine in [Babylon] again. Why? Because By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. Many versions have witchcraft or sorcery, but they all have the same word, Strong’s Greek 5331, pharmakeia which is where our words pharmaceutical and pharmacy come from. The root word for 5331 is Strong’s Greek 5332, pharmakeús, which is the druggist, pharmacist, magician, witch, or sorcerer.
The HELPS Word-Studies here gives the following fascinating description for 5332, “a person using drug-based incantations or drugging religious enchantments; a pharmakeus-practitioner who “mixes up distorted religious potions” like a sorcerer-magician. They try to “work their magic” by performing pseudo “supernatural” stunts, weaving illusions about the Christian life to use “powerful” religious formulas (“incantations”) that manipulate the Lord into granting more temporal gifts (especially “invincible health and wealth”). This has a “drugging” effect on the aspiring religious zealot, inducing them to think they have “special spiritual powers” (that do not operate in keeping with Scripture).”
With such a description of Babylon and the people of Babylon, is it any wonder that the two verses preceding our verse of the day read as follows, Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No worker of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. Judgment is coming to Babylon and judgment begins by making sure The light of a lamp will never shine in you again resulting in nothing but darkness for darkness is the absence of light.
The Pulpit Commentary tells us The judgment is the result of the non-repentance as noted in 9:21, Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. For some reason they believed they did not have to repent or out of pride they refused to do so. This brings to mind John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came out to see what he was doing. He said to them in Matthew 3:7b-9, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. They were not going to repent either and John’s message to them was their birthright would not save them from God’s judgment.
Bottom Line: We need to ensure our lives do not reflect the values and idols of Babylon. Instead, our lives should be lives of repentance and lives bearing the fruit of repentance – living for God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to avoid living lives reflecting the values and idols of Babylon. Help us instead to live lives that please You and Glorify You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton