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Revelation 18; Isaiah 3; Isaiah 4; Psalm 109:1-19

Revelation 18

The Fall of Babylon the Great

1 After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 He cried in a mighty voice: It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast. 3 For all the nations have drunk the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury. 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, or receive any of her plagues. 5 For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Pay her back the way she also paid, and double it according to her works. In the cup in which she mixed, mix a double portion for her. 7 As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give her that much torment and grief. Because she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never see grief,' 8 therefore her plagues will come in one day- death, and grief, and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

The World Mourns Babylon's Fall

9 The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They stand far off in fear of her torment, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come. 11 The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise any longer- 12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine fabrics of linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine wheat flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human bodies and souls. 14 The fruit you craved has left you. All your splendid and glamorous things are gone; they will never find them again. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying: Woe, woe, the great city, clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls; 17 because in a single hour such fabulous wealth was destroyed! And every shipmaster, seafarer, the sailors, and all who do business by sea, stood far off 18 as they watched the smoke from her burning and kept crying out: "Who is like the great city?" 19 They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning: Woe, woe, the great city, where all those who have ships on the sea became rich from her wealth; because in a single hour she was destroyed. 20 Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets, because God has executed your judgment on her!

The Finality of Babylon's Fall

21 Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: In this way, Babylon the great city will be thrown down violently and never be found again. 22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again; no craftsman of any trade will ever be found in you again; the sound of a mill will never be heard in you again; 23 the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of a groom and bride will never be heard in you again. [All this will happen] because your merchants were the nobility of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery, 24 and the blood of prophets and saints, and all those slaughtered on earth, was found in you.

Isaiah 3

Judah's Leaders Judged

1 Observe this: The Lord God of Hosts is about to remove from Jerusalem and from Judah every kind of security: the entire supply of bread and water, 2 the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the fortune-teller and elder, 3 the commander of 50 and the dignitary, the counselor, cunning magician, and necromancer. 4 "I will make youths their leaders, and the unstable will govern them." 5 The people will oppress one another, man against man, neighbor against neighbor; the youth will act arrogantly toward the elder, and the worthless toward the honorable. 6 A man will even seize his brother in his father's house, [saying:] "You have a cloak-you be our leader! This heap of rubble will be under your control." 7 On that day he will cry out, saying: "I'm not a healer. I don't even have food or clothing in my house. Don't make me the leader of the people!" 8 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen because they have spoken and acted against the Lord, defying His glorious presence. 9 The look on their faces testifies against them, and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin. They do not conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. 10 Tell the righteous that it will go well [for them], for they will eat the fruit of their deeds. 11 Woe to the wicked-[it will go] badly [for them], for what they have done will be done to them. 12 Youths oppress My people, and women rule over them. My people, your leaders mislead you; they confuse the direction of your paths. 13 The Lord rises to argue the case and stands to judge the people. 14 The Lord brings [this] charge against the elders and leaders of His people: "You have devastated the vineyard. The plunder from the poor is in your houses. 15 Why do you crush My people and grind the faces of the poor?" says the Lord God of Hosts.

Jerusalem's Women Judged

16 The Lord also says: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, walking with heads held high and seductive eyes, going along with prancing steps, jingling their ankle bracelets, 17 the Lord will put scabs on the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will shave their foreheads bare. 18 On that day the Lord will strip their finery: ankle bracelets, headbands, crescents, 19 pendants, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle jewelry, sashes, perfume bottles, amulets, 21 signet rings, nose rings, 22 festive robes, capes, cloaks, purses, 23 garments, linen clothes, turbans, and veils. 24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of beautifully styled hair, baldness; instead of fine clothes, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. 25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. 26 Then her gates will lament and mourn; deserted, she will sit on the ground.

Isaiah 4

1 On that day seven women will seize one man, saying, "We will eat our own bread and provide our own clothing. Just let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace."

Zion's Future Glory

2 On that day the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of Israel's survivors. 3 Whoever remains in Zion and whoever is left in Jerusalem will be called holy-all in Jerusalem who are destined to live- 4 when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodguilt from the heart of Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning. 5 Then the Lord will create a cloud of smoke by day and a glowing flame of fire by night over the entire site of Mount Zion and over its assemblies. For there will be a canopy over all the glory, 6 and there will be a booth for shade from heat by day, and a refuge and shelter from storm and rain.

Psalm 109:1-19

Prayer against an Enemy

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

1 God of my praise, do not be silent. 2 For wicked and deceitful mouths open against me; they speak against me with lying tongues. 3 They surround me with hateful words and attack me without cause. 4 In return for my love they accuse me, but I continue to pray. 5 They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set a wicked person over him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer be counted as sin. 8 Let his days be few; let another take over his position. 9 Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. 10 Let his children wander as beggars, searching [for food] far from their demolished homes. 11 Let a creditor seize all he has; let strangers plunder what he has worked for. 12 Let no one show him kindness, and let no one be gracious to his fatherless children. 13 Let the line of his descendants be cut off; let their name be blotted out in the next generation. 14 Let his forefathers' guilt be remembered before the Lord, and do not let his mother's sin be blotted out. 15 Let their sins always remain before the Lord, and let Him cut off [all] memory of them from the earth. 16 For he did not think to show kindness, but pursued the wretched poor and the brokenhearted in order to put them to death. 17 He loved cursing-let it fall on him; he took no delight in blessing-let it be far from him. 18 He wore cursing like his coat- let it enter his body like water and go into his bones like oil. 19 Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself, like a belt he always wears.
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