Openbaring Deel 35 – Hoofstuk 18 (Deel 2)

Kom ons delf dieper in die res van hierdie hoofstuk wat die uiteindelike verwoesting van alle rebelle en wreedaarts uitbeeld
Vers 8 daarom sal haar plae op een dag kom: dood en droefheid en honger; en met vuur sal sy verbrand word, want sterk is die Here God wat haar oordeel.

“Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. . . . In the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, . . . saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.” Revelation 18:5-10. {GC 653.1}

“The merchants of the earth,” that have “waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies,” “shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” Revelation 18:11, 3, 15-17. Such are the judgments that fall upon Babylon in the day of the visitation of God’s wrath. She has filled up the measure of her iniquity; her time has come; she is ripe for destruction. GC 653

“When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life. While probation continued they were blinded by Satan’s deceptions, and they justified their course of sin. The rich prided themselves upon their superiority to those who were less favored; but they had obtained their riches by violation of the law of God. They had neglected to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to deal justly, and to love mercy. They had sought to exalt themselves and to obtain the homage of their fellow creatures. Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless. They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols which they preferred before their Maker. They have sold their souls for earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward God.
”The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now turned to gall, their treasures to corruption. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of their gold and silver. But their lamentations are silenced by the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols.

“The wicked are filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because God has conquered. They lament that the result is what it is; but they do not repent of their wickedness. They would leave no means untried to conquer if they could.

“The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and earthquake. He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is to His people a safe pavilion.

“The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the character and influence of his teachings. It is apparent that the omniscient eye was following him as he stood in the desk, as he walked the streets, as he mingled with men in the various scenes of life. Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and now, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he beholds the harvest.

“Saith the Lord: ‘They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.’ ‘With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.’ Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! . . . Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.” ‘Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; . . . and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.’ Jeremiah 23:1, 2; 25:34, 35, margin.

”Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God. They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law. The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption.
“This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever–eternal life. Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them.

“The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. ‘We are lost!’ they cry, ‘and you are the cause of our ruin;’ and they turn upon the false shepherds.

“The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God’s people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.

“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword.” Jeremiah 25:31. For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. ‘The Lord hath a controversy with the nations;’ ‘He will give them that are wicked to the sword.’

“The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: ‘Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ Says the prophet: ‘They began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ Ezekiel 9:1-6.
“The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together. ‘The Lord cometh out of His place to punish the
inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.’ Isaiah 26:21. ‘And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.” Zechariah 14:12, 13.

“In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God’s unmingled wrath, fall the wicked inhabitants of the earth–priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low. ‘And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried.’ Jeremiah 25:33.

“At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth–consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. ‘Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.’ ‘The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.’ ‘Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned.’ Isaiah 24:1, 3, 5, 6.” GC 657

Vers 9 En die konings van die aarde wat met haar gehoereer en weelderig geleef het, sal oor haar ween en oor haar weeklaag wanneer hulle die rook van haar verbranding sien,

Die ween en die weeklaag dui op ongekende hartseer en rou. Hoekom? Omdat hulle haar vernietig het.

Openbaring 17:16 En die tien horings wat jy op die dier gesien het, hulle sal die hoer haat en haar verlate maak en naak, en haar vlees eet en haar met vuur verbrand.

Vers 10 terwyl hulle ver weg staan uit vrees vir haar pyniging, en sê: Wee, wee jou, o groot stad Babilon, o sterk stad, want in een uur het jou oordeel gekom!

Hulle staan ver weg omdat hulle ‘n rukkie van te vore saamgewerk het en in haar sondes deelgeneem het. Hulle besef dat hulle lot ook haar lot gaan wees. Hulle het nie op God se oproep gereageer om uit haar uit te kom nie.

Wee, wee. Hulle het gehoop om mag saam met haar te deel. Nou besef hulle te laat dat dit ‘n valse droom was.

Oordeel. Grieks krisis, verwys na die daad van oordeel in teenstelling met uitvoering van die oordeel. Hoofstuk 17 is primêr met die uitspraak van die oordeel te make terwyl hoofsuk 18 met uitvoering daarvan bemoeid is.

Vers 11 En die handelaars van die aarde sal ween en rou bedrywe oor haar, omdat niemand hulle koopware meer koop nie,

Wie is hierdie handelaars? Is dit die ekonomiese wêreld of die godsdienstiges wat voordeel uit ‘n verhouding met Babilon getrek het?

Word haar leerstellige wyn aan die aarde bemark?

Vers 12 koopware van goud en silwer en edelgesteente en pêrels en fyn linne en purper en sy en skarlaken; en allerhande geurige hout en allerhande voorwerpe van ivoor en allerhande voorwerpe van die kosbaarste hout en van koper en yster en marmer.

Vers 13 en kaneel en reukwerk en salf en wierook en wyn en olyfolie en fynmeel en koring en grootvee en skape; en van perde en waens en slawe en mensesiele.

Word mense goedkoop verkoop deur Babilon?

Vers 16 Wee, wee die groot stad wat bekleed was met fyn linne en purper en skarlaken en versierd met goud en edelgesteente en pêrels, omdat in een uur soveel rykdom verwoes is!

Vers 17 En elke stuurman en die hele menigte op die skepe, en die matrose en almal wat die see bevaar, het ver weg gaan staan

Vers 19 En hulle het stof op hul hoofde gegooi en onder geween en weeklag uitgeroep en gesê: Wee, wee die groot stad waarin almal Vers 18 en het uitgeroep toe hulle die rook van haar verbranding sien, en gesê: Watter stad is soos die groot stad? wat skepe op die see het, deur haar kostelike skatte ryk geword het; want dit is in een uur verwoes!

Na watter Ou Testmentiese see-gebeurtenis verwys Johannes?

Esegiël 26:17 En hulle sal ‘n klaaglied oor jou aanhef en vir jou sê: Hoe het jy vergaan wat bewoon was uit die seë, hoog geroemde stad; wat sterk was deur die see, hy en sy inwoners, wat die skrik vir hulle ingeboesem het by al die kusbewoners.

Vers 26 Die wat jou geroei het, het jou op groot waters gebring; die Oostewind het jou verbreek in die hart van die seë.

Vers 28 Van die harde geskreeu van jou stuurmanne sal die oop velde bewe.

Vers 29 En almal wat die roeispaan hanteer, sal van hulle skepe afklim; die seevaarders, al die stuurmanne van die see, sal op die land gaan staan.

Vers 30 En hulle sal hul stem oor jou laat hoor en bitterlik skreeu; en hulle sal stof op hul hoofde gooi, hulle wentel in die as.
Vers 31 En hulle sal om jou ontwil ‘n kaal plek skeer en rouklere aangord en oor jou ween met bitterheid van siel, in ‘n bitter rouklag.
Vers 32 En hulle sal in hul weeklag oor jou ‘n klaaglied aanhef en oor jou sing: Wie was soos Tirus, die doodstille daar in die see?

Terwyl ek by Tirus besoek het, het ek aan die betroubaarheid van die Woord van Here gedink. En soos hierdie stad in die see beland het, so sal Babilon ook in totaliteit verdwyn.

Openbaring 18:20 Verbly jou oor haar, o hemel, en o heilige apostels en profete, omdat God julle oordeel aan haar voltrek het!

Verbly om aan te hou om jou te verbly. Waarom die blydskap?

Die verwoesting van Babilon bring vreugde aan die ganse heelal. Die oorwinningslied is in hoofstuk 19:1-6 opgeteken. Die vreugdesfees wat gehou gaan word vind ons in verse 7 tot 9 in dieselfde hoofstuk

Hemel. Die hemel is die eerste om oor die oorwinning te juig. Ek glo die engele het ook saam met ons gevra “Hoe landk, hoe lank…”.

Oordeel voltrek. Babilon het die doodsdekreet oor God se kinders uitgevaarfdig maar nou ontvang sy dit. Het ons ‘n tipe van hierdie antitiese gebeurtenis in die Ou Testament?

Ester 7:10 En hulle het Haman opgehang aan die galg wat hy vir Mórdegai opgerig het, en die woede van die koning het bedaar.

Hierdie gebeurtenis speel tydens die sewende plaag af.

Openbaring 18:21 En een sterk engel het ‘n klip opgetel soos ‘n groot meulsteen en dit in die see gegooi en gesê: So, met ‘n vaart, sal Babilon, die groot stad, neergegooi word en nooit meer gevind word nie.

Waar nog lees ons van ‘n soortgelyke gebeurenis?

Jeremia 51:63 En as jy hierdie boek klaar gelees het, moet jy ‘n klip daaraan vasmaak en dit binne-in die Eufraat gooi

Jeremiah 51:64 en sê: So sal Babel sink en nie weer opkom nie weens die onheil wat Ek oor hom bring; en hulle sal afgemat wees. Tot sover die woorde van Jeremia.

Jeremiah 51:42 Die see het oor Babel opgerys, deur die gebruis van sy golwe is hy oordek.

Esegiël 26:3,4 daarom, so sê die Here HERE: Kyk, Ek het dit teen jou, o Tirus! en Ek laat baie nasies teen jou optrek soos die see sy golwe laat optrek. Húlle sal die mure van Tirus verwoes en sy torings afbreek; ja, Ek sal sy puin van hom af wegvee e hom ‘n kaal rots maak.

Nooit meer gevind word nie

Wat beteken hierdie woorde?

Openbaring 18:22 En die stem van siterspelers en sangers en fluitspelers en basuinblasers sal nooit meer in jou gehoor word nie, en geen kunstenaar van enige kuns sal ooit weer in jou gevind word nie, en die geluid van die meul sal nooit meer in jou gehoor word nie.

Ek staan en kyk na die pragtige kuns van Babilon wat argeoloë uit die verwoeste stad opgegrawe het.

En ek dink aan die teks wat noem dat kuns nooit weer in haar gevind sal word nie.

Ek kyk na antieke musiekinstrumente en dink aan die teks wat noem dat dit nooit meer in Babilon gehoor sal word nie.

Niks van die onvolmaakte sang en kuns en die geluid van ‘n meul, masjienerie sal meer in die hemel gehoor word nie.

Ek kan nie wag om nuwe klanke, skoon onbesoedelde klanke te gaan aanhoor nie.

Verse 23,24 En die lig van ‘n lamp sal nooit meer in jou skyn nie, en die stem van bruidegom en bruid sal nooit meer in jou gehoor word nie; want jou handelaars was die grotes van die aarde; want deur jou towery is al die nasies verlei. En die bloed van profete en heiliges is in haar gevind, en van almal wat op die aarde gedood is.

Wie is die “almal wat die aarde gedood is?

Mistieke Babilon stel afvallige godsdiens vanaf die begin van tyd voor. Hoofstukke 13 tot 18 is egter bemoeid met die kulminasie van afvalligheid aan die einde van tyd.

Die klem is egter op hulle wat hulle lewe afgelê in die groot stryd tussen goed en kwaad. Dit sluit ook die in wat Babilon wou doodmaak maar wat God verhoed het.

Kenneth Strand skryf:

“In Scripture there is assurance that God has always cared for His people: that in history itself He is ever present to sustain them, and that in the great denouement (Unravelling of plot, ontknoping)He will give them full vindication and an incomprehensibly generous reward in life everlasting.

The book of Revelation picks up and expands beautifully thissam theme, and thus Revelation is not by any means some sort of offbeat apocalypse that is out of tune with biblical literature in general; it conveys the very heart and substand of the biblical message. Indeed, as Revelation emphatically points out, the “Living One” – the One who conquered death and grave(1:18) – will never forsake His faithful followers and that even when they suffer martyrdom they are victorious (12:11), with the ‘crown of life’ awaiting them. The Seven Head, p 206

Volgende keer besoek ons hoofstuk 19. Dit beloof om baie bemoledigend te wees.

Mag die Here met ons wees terwyl ons hierdie pragtige boek teks vir teks bestudeer.


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