Ostia Merchants Lament
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Ostia Merchants Lament (Revelation 18.19)

"They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out, 'Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!" (Revelation 18.19)✞

Ancient Port of Rome

FeastThere is something quite pathetic in this Ostia merchants lament. In every case, the lament is not for Rome but for themselves. It is one of the laws of life that, if people place all their happiness in material things, they miss the greatest things of all, love and friendship with others. Amidst all the lamenting comes the voice of joy, the voice of those who are glad to see the vengeance of God upon his enemies and their persecutors. This is a note which we find more than once in Scripture. In Deuteronomy 32.43 we read, "Rejoice, you nations, with his people, [or "Make his people rejoice, you nations"] [the Dead Sea Scrolls adds "and let all the angels worship him,"] for he will avenge the blood of his servants, he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people." Jeremiah 51.48 says of the doom of ancient Babylon, "'Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north destroyers will attack her,' declares the Lord."

"Ostia Merchants Lament"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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