This whole chapter is about G-d’s wrath/judgement on Babylon (That harlot religious system we read about in chapter 17).
v1: G-d’s judgement is necessary for His glory to be manifested. It is only through judgement that the whole world will be full of His glory.
v2: Babylon is synonymous with exile. G-d is going to bring exile to an end.
- Babylon became a cage for all things unclean, impure and connected to death.
- The birds spoken of here are scavengers – those that eat up dead things.
v3: Her fornication speaks of her idolatry. False religion. This is a religion that is based on the indulgence of the flesh. This kind of religion brings the wrath of G-d upon all who have no covenantal relationship with Him.
- The merchants of the earth wanted wealth in order to fulfill the desires of their flesh. They chose according to the flesh, and they are going to get the outcome of the flesh – death (Roms 6v23).
v4: In Hebrew, the word for ‘come out’ is also where we get the word ‘exodus’ from. It is only through redemption, by the blood of Messiah Yeshua our Redeemer, that people are enabled to be set free from their sins – to ‘come out’ of Babylon.
- There is a connection between sin and plagues. When we live in sin the outcome is going to be the judgement of G-d.
v5: When G-d ‘remembers’ it is always followed by action/a response from Him. G-d was silent in Exodus until he saw the faithfulness of the Hebrew midwives (Ex 1v15-21) Then He remembered and began to move.
v6: Isaiah 40v2 tells us that Israel paid twice (double) for her sins. G-d is also going to cause Babylon to pay twice for hers. If we are offended at what G-d does, or instructs us to do(eg 18v20),we need to ask Him to change our perspectives so that we can see how He sees sin (Isaiah 55v8-9)
v7: Babylon is going to be enthroned as a queen. In Judaism, the Sabbath is called ‘queen’. Shabbat is related to the Kingdom – the queen looks toward The King. Here we have the opposite – this queen is not looking for the king. She has determined in her heart that she will not become a widow and will not be under anyone’s authority. She stands alone and does what she wants. She has a false belief – she thinks that there will be no end to her reign. satan, too, thinks that he is going to triumph over G-d and that there will be no sorrow for him.
v8: G-d’s judgment comes in a moment; in a quick period of time.
v9: All the king’s fleshly desires came through their allegiance with her – that is why they weep. The gratification of the flesh is always temporary.
v10: At Mt Sinai the people also stood, fearfully, at a distance. (Ex 20v18-21) They were not prepared for, and did not discern, what G-d had come to do. When we understand prophetic truth, we will have the ability to discern what G-d is up to, and where the enemy is functioning, so we can position ourselves as those being led by the Holy Spirit.