At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.
Babylon is continually taken in Scripture as the type of the kingdom of evil, that which our Saviour termed "the gates of hell." Her antiquity, her vast power, her wickedness and cruelty, her utter overthrow, all justify the similitude which St. John especially so frequently employs. But the kingdom of evil is to be destroyed. For this purpose "the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." And as when the literal Babylon fell there was a "cry," so shall it be when that yet more dread power of which she was the type shall, in its turn, fall and perish. But that cry will be of a varied nature. On the part of all those who have trusted in and served it there will be -
I. A CRY OF TERROR. Their confidence, their pride, will be shattered, and they will quail at "the wrath of the Lamb" which they have provoked. But there will be many who will behold that overthrow and from them -
II. A CRY OF WONDER will be heard. That kingdom of evil so widespread, so ancient, so established, so seemingly undisputed in its possession during all the long ages hitherto, now completely overthrown. How many valiant soldiers of the cross and faithful servants of God have in past ages hurled themselves against her ramparts and tried to storm her citadel, and have, apparently, but thrown their lives away! Therefore, when at length it is proclaimed, "Babylon is fallen!" what wonder and astonishment will fill the minds of all beholders! But it will be also -
III. A CRY OF JOY. It will be the day of jubilee, the setting free of the oppressed, the opening of the prison doors, the giving of liberty to the captives. Hence the psalms perpetually bid us sing unto the Lord - sing a new song; "for he cometh, he cometh to judge the earth." We are accustomed to speak of the judgment day as one of terror only; we forget that it will be a day of unspeakable joy to the multitudes of the oppressed, like as, when Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore, they sang their song of triumph. And it will be also -
IV. A CRY OF THANKSGIVING, of adoration and praise. How can it be otherwise? "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together" beneath hell's dread oppression. Shall there not be unspeakable gratitude felt when the Lord crushes this awful tyranny and destroys it forevermore? CONCLUSION.
1. Remember that this overthrow will take place. They who believe in this kingdom of evil say, "We shall never be moved." But they are deceived and will, one day, be terribly awakened.
2. Which cry shall be ours? - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.