The world has gone mad and turned upside down. In the early days of this coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, I could see the implications, as many could, not just for people’s health but also for the economy and social order. But for me, this situation has highlighted how many things in our lives we have assumed are rights are really privileges of living in an unprecedented time of prosperity and luxury, compared to the rest of human history.
During this time, I feel like I am going to be tested as to where my security lies and what “idols” I have been trusting in and relying on. Everything that we considered “normal” is slowly being stripped away from us. Sports pages are no longer filled with results but rather commentary about how professional sports will survive this period of time. Financial markets are being turned on their heads. The hospitality, tourism and retail sectors are close to being completely shut down.
Ever since this started, I’ve been thinking about Revelation 18. Early on, I was considering what we would do as a family if both my wife and I ended up losing our jobs. Revelation 18 kept coming to mind, so I decided to go and read it again. Verse 3—which mentions how Babylon had made the nations drunk and how they had become rich through her sensuality—jumped out at me. The word “sensuality” here can also be replaced with “luxuriousness”. It goes on to describe a worldwide economic collapse in which people’s lifestyles are permanently changed and people mourn over Babylon because of what was lost. “The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them” (verse 14).