Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 19 and Revelation 18.
What is “the fruit for which your soul longs”? As a new week begins, that’s a question worth chewing on.
In Revelation 18, John sees an 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!'” (Rev 18:1-2). As kings of the earth and merchants weep and mourn over the demise of the city that brought them such great personal gain, a voice from heaven diagnoses the real reason for their distress:
“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!” (Rev 18:14)
“The fruit for which your soul longed…” That’s what fueled the nations to become drunk with the passion of sexual immorality (Rev 18:3).
“The fruit for which your soul longed…” That’s what compelled the merchants to grow rich from the power of luxurious living at the expense of “human souls” (Rev 18:3, 13).
“The fruit for which your soul longed…” That’s what produced a heap of sins “high as heaven” (Rev 18:5).
Revelation 18 depicts great mourning and weeping because “the fruit” for which so many souls had been longing was not ultimately satisfying, enduring, or worth the outcome.
That realization leads us back to a question worth wrestling with this week: What is the fruit for which your soul longs? What (or who) do you desire most? Where are you storing up treasures? Those questions matter because the focal point of our greatest affections will eventually bear fruit. We take steps–moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, year by year–in a direction because of what we desire most. Revelation 18 is encouraging us to think about where our present path ends and what sort of “fruit” we will be left holding when we get there.
Life was good in “Babylon” … for some, for a time. But that time was limited, and all of the “delicacies and splendors” Babylon had to offer weren’t worth the bitter harvest that eventually came when Babylon fell.
On the other end of the spectrum, life was difficult in “Babylon” for those who submitted to the call of God: “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins” (Rev 18:4). But the difficulties didn’t last forever, and for those who held God and his glory as their greatest desire, the fruit for which their souls had longed meant triumph, peace, and life eternal.
…all of which leads us back to perhaps the most important question of the day: What is the fruit for which your soul longs, and where will those longings ultimately lead you?