“Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”
Three times in this chapter God shows that in one hour something happens. One hour is not that long. One hour is sixty minutes. One hour is three thousand six hundred seconds. One hour is not that long, but one hour can make a difference in your life. What you do with each hour of your life can make the difference of what happens at the end of your life or in eternity. Let me point out the three things where one hour can make a difference.
First, in one hour judgment comes. The verse above says, “… for in one hour is thy judgment come.” This great city felt secure in her sin, but in one hour she faced God’s judgment. Just because you have gotten away with sin doesn’t mean you will always get away with sin. Your hour is coming when your actions will meet with the consequences of sin. Yes, for the believer sin has been paid for, but sin still has consequences. Only the fool will say there are no consequences to sin. You may enjoy your sin for a season, but sin will no longer be fun when your hour of judgment happens.
Second, in one hour riches come to nought. Verse 17 says, “For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” You must never trust in riches for they can quickly vanish. Too many people work for riches only to realize that in one hour riches can be gone. Many who invest in the stock market have seen their investments come to nought in one hour; likewise, no matter how secure you think your riches are, they can come to nought in one hour.
Third, in one hour desolation happens. Verse 19 says, “…in one hour is she made desolate.” How quickly the desolation of a strong city will happen. You may think you are greater than anyone else, but you must never think more highly of yourself than you are because your desolation can happen in one hour.
The difference that one hour makes brings three lessons the believer should learn. First, never think that the worst will never happen to you. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” You don’t know what tomorrow hold; therefore, you should live your life with the understanding that the security of what you have today may not be here tomorrow. Enjoy what you have now and never place your confidence in the material things of this earth because they can quickly pass away.
Second, remember that life is short. James 4:14 rhetorically asks, “…For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Life happens so briefly, and what you do with today will quickly see its consequences or rewards tomorrow. You had better care for the things today because your tomorrow will come. Too many people spend their time on those things that can vanish in one hour and never invest their time in those things that last for an eternity. Life is short, and you had better make the most for your eternity with the brevity of life that you have.
Third, invest in that which perisheth not. My advice to you is to invest in eternity. The things you do for eternity will never pass away. One hour can make a difference for eternity; therefore, it is best to wisely invest in each hour by using each hour to invest in eternity.