While some of the details of these verses are perhaps a bit puzzling, the overall message is not. Today’s passage compares and contrasts two very different groups of people: those who worship the lamb, and those who worship the beast.
And it’s particularly interesting (to me, at least!) that the comparison concludes with this line: “…for their deeds will follow them.”
It seems to me Christians use the word “worship” in two different ways. When we talk about Christians worshiping God, we think of something people do in church, singing songs and generally proclaiming God’s praise. But when we talk about people worshipping, say, money, it seems to me we mean something very different.
We are not saying that the person who worships money sings songs to dollar bills. He doesn’t kneel before his money and say, “Money you are so great! You are worthy, money, worthy of glory and honor and power!” He doesn’t have a special altar set up to his money or a separate time of day that he devotes strictly to telling money how great it is.
No, what we are saying is that the person who worship money orients his everyday life to money’s service.
And though it seems to me that worship in the traditional sense of the word is important, it also seems to me that unless we orient the whole of our lives towards God’s service (if we do not “follow the lamb wherever he goes”), then we are guilty of a double standard.
Because the truth is this: If we are not orienting our lives towards God’s service, then we are not really worshipping God at all.