Friday, January 4

“In a single moment it is all gone.

Candle Lighter: “At last…”
Response: “…God has judged her.”

Scripture: Revelation 18:19b-23

In a single moment it is all gone.”

20 Rejoice over her fate, O heaven

   and people of God and apostles and prophets!

For at last God has judged her

   for your sakes.

For context read all of chapters 17 & 18

Reader:  The word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
Chapters seventeen and eighteen paint a picture of worldly success and indulgence in debauchery. A point is made of wealth and luxury as the lifestyle enjoyed by the rebellious. But there is an interesting phrase that occurs three times. “These plagues will overtake her (Babylon, representing the rebellious world) in a single day.” (18:8) Then a little later in speaking again of the city, “In a single moment all the wealth of the city is gone!” (18:17). And finally concluding the section, “In a single moment it is all gone.” (18:20) We’ve all been alive long enough to know that in an instant everything can change. Normally, the change is in some situation here on earth, a birth, a death, a promotion, a marriage. In this passage the “a single moment” is for eternity. Death is the only event we have in this world which enables us to enter eternity. It is our singular “no turning back moment.” Yet much of our world gives little attention in preparing for “the single moment.”  We laugh at death, as though laughing defeats it (Halloween). We avoid thinking or talking about it. When was the last time you had a serious conversation about death?  We downplay the language by having “memorials” rather than “funerals”―too morbid. We most often spare an open casket, or even have a casket present in the memorial service, instead choosing to have lovely pictures of the deceased―avoiding having to look at the reality of death in person. Death is not pretty, but frankly, it is healthy to see death. John gives us the realistic words “In a single moment it is all gone.” The glory of the Savior and redemption is that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” In a single moment, in the twinkling of an eye we shall all be changed…for eternity!

Music:  “Go Tell It on the Mountain”   Mahalia Jackson YOU CAN’T MISS THIS!!!       NOBODY SINGS THEIR SOUL LIKE THIS!

Lord God Almighty, I ask not to be enrolled amongst the earthly great and rich, but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed. Make it my present, supreme, persevering concern to obtain those blessings which are spiritual in their nature, eternal in their continuance, satisfying in their possession. Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole or a part of my character; may I pay regard to my principles as well as my conduct, my motives as well as my actions. Help me never to mistake the excitement of my passions for the renewing of the Holy spirit, never to judge my religion by occasional impressions and impulses, but by my constant and prevailing disposition. May my heart be right with thee, and my life as becometh the gospel. May I maintain a supreme regard to another and better world, and feel and confess myself a stranger and a pilgrim here. Afford me all the direction, defence, support, and consolation my journey hence requires, and grant me a mind stayed upon thee. Give me large abundance of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus, that I may be prepared for every duty, love thee in all my mercies, submit to thee in every trial, trust thee when walking in darkness, have peace in thee amidst life’s changes. Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief and uncertainties. I pray this through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Master. Amen.
― The Valley of Vision, p.65

© 2018 Dan Sharp – All rights reserved