Friday, November 10, 2006

Revelation 17: 1-18

In this chapter, the writer of Revelation is shown a vision which apparently shocks him as much as it does us. (v6). The chapter begins with a picture of evil; a prostitute who the kings of the world had relations with. The author then saw a vision of a woman, who may represent Babylon or Rome, drunk with the blood of the saints and those who were faithful to Jesus.

At first reading I, like the writer, “shook my head in astonishment” (v 6). But we can pray for understanding and pray that God meets us on the pages of Scripture. This chapter seems to depict a very grim picture but the word HOPE came to my mind. Scripture is written to give us hope, and how can this be true in this passage?

For one thing, the concept of suffering and evil wasn’t new to the Christians to whom the book of Revelation was written. Remember that they were being persecuted for their faith by the state (Rome) and unfortunately bloodshed was not unknown. So God is telling the author, have hope, I know what is going to happen and the evil will be defeated. My plans for the world will come to pass. The prostitute (evil nations) will be defeated and I even know when (v 17) - it will be when my words are fulfilled.

This chapter contains vivid, grim pictures and was written for grim times. But for evil, John is pointing out; the end is coming and will be swept away. John is encouraging his readers to have hope in this.

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