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Daily Reflections – Higher Things

Thursday of the Second-Last Week

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Daily Lectionary: Daniel 2:1-23; Revelation 18:1-24

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. (Revelation 18:2)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “Alas! Alas!” So the watchers cry as they see mighty Babylon toppled before their eyes—stripped of glory, wealth, and fame.

By the time John received this revelation, Babylon was a far-off memory. She who once carried off the wealth of nations had her own wealth stolen by Persia, which subsequently lost to Greece. In the first century AD, Rome was the Babylon du jour. She was the vicious tyrant subduing and carrying off what belonged to others. She was the sultry whore enticing her own people and the surrounding nations to indulge in idolatry and immorality.

John’s readers could make the connection between Babylon and Rome without possessing seditious writings that prophesied Rome’s coming judgment at the hands of the One True God. The great pagan empire dominating the Mediterranean basin and beyond would eventually crumble, joining Persia, Babylon, Nineveh, and their ilk in history’s refuse pile.

Like Babylon, Rome wasn’t the final empire to dominate huge portions of the world. Others have followed and we still see great nations vying for the world’s attention and adulation. Whether by terror or enticement, they seek to gain hold of and profit from others.

Lest we follow lewd invitations or be driven by violent impulses to accept the headship of earthly empires, the Lord calls us to remember our heavenly citizenship. We belong to the new Israel. The Lord is our Rock and our Fortress and the new Jerusalem is our home. We cower before no tyrant nor do we race to wallow in spiritual harlotry. Our King conquered sin, death, and hell, and has brought us into His eternal kingdom. Though all else crumble and decay or perish in the final judgment, we stand secure on Christ our Rock. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Walter Snyder

Built on the Rock the Church shall stand Even when steeples are falling, Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land; Bells still are chiming and calling, Calling the young and old to rest, But above all the souls distressed, Longing for rest everlasting. (Built on the Rock, LSB 645:1)