Ostia Merchants Lament
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Ostia Merchants Lament
(Revelation 18.19)
Page 265

"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 was something quite pathetic about this Ostia merchants lament. Ostia was the ancient port of Rome which is now silted up, though some beautiful floor mosaics advertizing the services of merchants still exist. In every case, the merchants lament was not for Rome but for themselves. It was one of the laws of life that, if people place all their happiness in material things, they likely miss the greatest things of all, love and friendship with others. Amidst all the lamenting came the voice of joy, the voice of those who were glad to see the vengeance of God upon his enemies and their persecutors. This was a note which we find more than once in Scripture. In Deuteronomy 32.43 we read, "Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people." "Rejoice, you nations, with his people," could be translated as "Make his people rejoice, you nations." The Dead Sea Scrolls added "and let all the angels worship him," Jeremiah 51.48 said 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 © 2018

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