December 16, 2022

What Is Your Ditch?

Revelation 18

Nicoletta Bradley
Friday's Devo

December 16, 2022

Friday's Devo

December 16, 2022

Central Truth

In this life, we get to choose to chase after Jesus or the desires of the world. But God promises that choosing Him is better than any ditch we might fall into. 

Key Verse | Revelation 18:4

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, 

"Come out of her, my people, 
lest you take part in her sins, 
lest you share in her plagues." 

Revelation 18

The Fall of Babylon

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,

“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.
For all nations have drunk 1 18:3 Some manuscripts fallen by
    the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
    and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,

“Come out of her, my people,
    lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
    and God has remembered her iniquities.
Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
    and repay her double for her deeds;
    mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
    so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
    ‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
    and mourning I shall never see.’
For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
    death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
    for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. 10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,
    you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. 2 18:13 Or and slaves, and human lives

14  “The fruit for which your soul longed
    has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
    are lost to you,
    never to be found again!”

15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

16  “Alas, alas, for the great city
    that was clothed in fine linen,
    in purple and scarlet,
    adorned with gold,
    with jewels, and with pearls!
17  For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

19 And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, for the great city
    where all who had ships at sea
    grew rich by her wealth!
For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
20  Rejoice over her, O heaven,
    and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
    and will be found no more;
22  and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
    will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
    will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
    will be heard in you no more,
23  and the light of a lamp
    will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
    will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
    and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
24  And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
    and of all who have been slain on earth.”

Footnotes

[1] 18:3 Some manuscripts fallen by
[2] 18:13 Or and slaves, and human lives

Episode 250: Revelation 18

Listen Now

Friday, 16 December | Revelation 18

Have you ever asked yourself, "What is my ditch?" In other words, what is that one thing you keep running back to even though you know it's not good for you and is not God's best for your life? I asked some of my closest friends to answer this question for themselves. Their answers varied based on their life stage, gender, and their own personal "ditches." They said anything from overeating, anxiety, fear of what people think, idolatry of marriage, porn, status, control, money, and more. 

When we read Revelation 18, Babylon serves as a symbol of what Scripture calls "the world." It wasn't just an ancient city and powerful empire, but a representation of mankind's rebellion against God. Even though the passage was written thousands of years ago, it is a message that is still relevant today. God is telling His people, "Don't be influenced by the world, and get out of your ditch." He is telling us to flee and run from the sinful things that take our eyes off our Heavenly Father. He knows that when we choose the world, we will only end up empty, saddened, and depressed.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

Jesus came from heaven to earth to give us LIFE, and life ABUNDANTLY! When we chase after the things of this world (food, relationships, money, status, fame, porn, etc.) we will never experience the life God desires for us to live this side of eternity. Every day, we are faced with millions of choices. Are we going to make choices that move us toward God or lead us to our ditch?

Discussion Questions

1. What is the biggest "ditch" in your life?

2. Why do you feel like you keep running to this "ditch" even though it doesn't bring you the abundant life Christ has for you?

3. What is one thing you could do today to climb out of your "ditch" (confess, pray, journal, etc.)?