Today’s reading is Revelation 17.
A great contrast starts in this chapter. We finally meet the immoral woman. The seductress who competes with the Bride to steal the love of the Hero, or at least keep the proper marriage from happening. Think Ursula in the Disney version of “The Little Mermaid.” Or the step-sisters in the stories of Cinderella. She has been mentioned earlier in the book (think Jezebel in the letter to Thyatira). John sees her as a woman on a seven-headed dragon. She is named Babylon and is described as a city. Doesn’t that also fit the hero stories we’ve read in the past. This is the enemy city that needs to be defeated for the Hero to win the day. The one key I hope we notice in all this is a statement that is often overlooked. The ten horns are ten kings. We often get so distracted by trying to figure out who the ten kings are that we actually miss the important part. These ten kings will receive authority. They will make war on the Lamb. However, that authority is only for one hour. Doesn’t that highlight what we’ve noticed about everything in this book. Yes, at times it looks like the enemy is winning. Babylon is drunk with the blood of the saints. Her supporting kings have authority with the beast who in earlier chapters made war on the saints and even conquered them (Revelation 12:7). But this authority last for only one hour. That’s it. Just one hour. Then the Lamb conquers them. Obviously, this is not a literal amount of time. It is, however, demonstrating that the time is small, so hang on. Yes, the immoral city arises and conspires with the kings of the earth in great immorality and attack on Christ and His Bride. But their victory is short lived. So hang on. Jesus always wins! Judgment is coming on the seductress, the immoral woman, the sinful city. Don’t join her, avoid her. Which, by the way, was the heart of the warning to Thyatira.
Monday’s reading is Revelation 18.
Continue reading “Babylon”
Today’s reading is Revelation 13.
We’ve all read or heard stories like this before. The Hero has to defeat a monster to save the kingdom or deliver the damsel in distress. Beowulf delivered Heorot from the monster, Grendel, and also from Grendel’s mother. Perseus saved Andromeda from Cetus. Our Hero must defeat His own set of monsters as well. We met the dragon in our previous reading. Today we meet the sea beast and the land beast. No doubt, we may find representative meanings for this triumvirate of monsters, but for the most part, we should see how this trinity of monsters mirrors and distorts the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. Further, at this point, we see the repeated cycle that it looks like the monsters are winning. The sea beast was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. The land beast is permitted so slay those who refuse to worship the beast. And that is where this reading ends. Sometimes it looks like our Hero is losing. But hang on. Jesus always wins!
Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 14.
Continue reading “The Monster”
Today’s reading is Revelation 18.
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!”
Whether Babylon initially represented Rome or Jerusalem is beside the point. The point is Christ’s kingdom prevails and Babylon falls. The victory may have seemed in question for some time, but in the end Jesus always wins. We bring the message to our day. Whether the great city is Mecca, Washington, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, London, or Timbuktu, every city and kingdom that raises its head against Jesus will fall. Yes, they will have authority for an hour. Yes, they may even drink the blood of saints. Yes, they may conquer for a time. But the worst they accomplish is sending saints to be with their Lord. In the end, they will fall. In the end, they will be defeated and destroyed. Hang on! Jesus always wins!
Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 19.
Continue reading “Babylon is Fallen”
Today’s reading is Revelation 12.
You’ve seen the movie or heard the stories. The Hero wants to marry the would-be bride, but first he must rescue her from the monster. That is our story now. We’ve met the Hero. We’ve met the Bride. Now meet the Monster. The dragon, the serpent of old, the devil himself. The dragon would have the Bride sacrificed on his altar, a meal for his supper. The Monster has lost one battle already, being cast from heaven. But he stands on the shore of the sea and wages war on the Bride. Will the Monster win? Will the Hero arrive in time to save the day? In this chapter we are left merely at the point of battle. If it were a movie on TV, it is time for a commercial break. What will happen next? Of course, you already know my answer. And if you’ve read ahead you can see. But appreciate for now the terror of facing the dragon, the Monster that wages war. Yes, victory is coming, but don’t be deterred by the battle; it is exactly what God said would come. Hang on, though, because Jesus always wins!
Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 13.
Continue reading “The Monster”