The Curse of Consumerism
Revelation 18:16 -17 " Woe! Woe to you great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin"
In a single moment all the wealth of the city is gone (NLT)
In this book of prophecy, the disciple John describes the end of times. Revelations is filled with reminders of how glorious our GOD is and also the destruction of this finite earth. Chapter 18 describes the ultimate end to the glorious city of Babylon. It was a city filled with human glory and luxury but in the end it was overtaken by death, mourning and famine. The kings of the earth watched the destruction from afar. We also read that the merchants wept and mourned because no one would ever buy from Babylon again.
The kings and merchants stood far away watching the fruits of their labor disintegrate. It's a potent reminder that nothing in this life lasts. Babylon represented the epitome of human opulence. She was known worldwide for her spices, colorful cloth and precious metals. But along the way greed had overtaken and they were now trading humans as slaves. Our world is similarly driven by productivity and consumerism. It's a never ending cycle where we are exposed to more and more things we could buy. There's a new laptop or iphone always around the corner. Fashion keeps changing creating even more beautiful clothes. Everything is shiny and advertisements inform us that unless we have the newest item we'll never be happy. Our lives will be more satisfying with these items.
It's not that these objects in and of itself that are wrong. However, there is something dangerous in continually pursuing luxury and wealth. The bible warns us that all it takes is a moment for all the wealth of the great city of Babylon to disappear. We will never find true satisfaction in earthly possessions because it's not meant to last. Everything in this earth will one day crumble and fall before the majesty and retribution of GOD. Christs death and resurrection ensured that HIS love will be the only eternal thing that can provide meaning in this world. It's easy to pursue earthly objects because they're easy to obtain but it only leaves us wanting more and more to a point where we crowd out GOD from our lives. So cut the cord early on and don’t get stuck watching the city burn.