“The kings of the earth who committed fornication with her and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her … And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet … and bodies and souls men.” (Revelation 18:9a, 11-12a, 13b)
Does this make you even a little uncomfortable?
It does me. I certainly have more than my share of clothing stuffed in an eight-foot closet; in fact, in winter, it’s so jammed with heavy duds that it’s hard to get at anything. But my closet is nothing like the walk-in versions I admire in even low-end dwellings featured on HGTV. And I know a few women who have dedicated entire rooms to their wardrobes.
I hadn’t really thought about this until last night, when, trying to fall asleep, I took a virtual tour of the house I grew up in.
It was a magical house, an old brick Victorian with graceful rooms, lovely natural woodwork, elaborate newel posts, a mysterious basement, leaded-glass pocket doors, built-in cabinets and lots of closets – albeit very small closets, by today’s standards.
I pictured my mother’s. It was perhaps six feet wide. It housed all her cold- and warm-weather clothing very comfortably, leaving plenty of room for hiding Christmas presents every December.
My dad’s closet contained his entire collection of suits. Even though he was a civil engineer with his own company, and even though men of the ‘50s and ‘60s wore suits everywhere, even on vacation, he must not have had many; the closet was only about four feet wide.
The closets in my bedroom and my sisters’ featured pull-out poles, each accommodating no more than four feet of hangers.
Curious, I revisited the closets in various apartments I rented over the years. They weren’t much larger, although they became increasingly jammed. Somewhere along the line I picked up a used dresser to expand my storage possibilities.
Could an American adult survive with so little closet space today? I doubt it.
So what has happened to us over the last half century?
Perhaps the root of the problem is our nationwide abandonment of the Bible and its unmatched wisdom, thanks at least in part to the ‘60s-era destruction caused by Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her fellow atheists.
Consider how different our closets might look today if we’d only ignored Madalyn and instead listened to Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:28-33:
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Of course, it’s not just our wardrobes that would be entirely different if we Americans had clung to our Bibles instead of giving the thumbs up to rebels like Madalyn. But they’re certainly a good indicator of where we are as a nation, spiritually speaking.
They may also be a pretty good predictor of the devastation many Americans will experience, perhaps fairly soon. After all, one of these days, all the material things we so prize will vanish, along with the impressive closets that house them.
It could happen on the day that the angel proclaims, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2)
If you’re not looking forward to that day, I hope you’ll take a few moments to consider how you might avoid it -- and instead assure yourself of joy forevermore.