Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 10), (Isaiah 54), (Revelation 17,18)
The symbolic language of the book of Revelation continues to challenge us. Chapters 17 & 18 today describe the dramatic end of the prostitute (AV whore). In Ch. 17 John is told, “Come I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute … on her forehead was written a name of mystery: Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes” [ v.1,5] Ch. 18 ends by telling us, “all nations were deceived by your sorcery, And in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and of all who had been slain on the earth.”
From the 4th Century onward the church, centred on Rome, spread throughout the world and any who openly disagreed with her were slain, She forced newly discovered peoples such as those in Central and South America to accept her distorted version of the teachings of Christ and ways of worship..
However the prostitute depends on the nations for her strength, these are symbolized as a beast with many heads and horns on which she rides (v.3). It seems significant that the European Union was established by ‘The Treaty of Rome’ nearly 70 years ago. As we read on we learn the time comes when those who have supported her “will hate the prostitute” [v.16].
The Treaty of Rome was established to unite Europe and give it financial and political stability. At first it succeeded marvelously, aided by the collapse of the Soviet Union. But, we learn “her plagues will come in a single day” [18 v.8]. This suddenness is further emphasized in v.10 “… you mighty city Babylon. For in a single hour your judgment has come.” This is repeated in v.17 and 19, with the added implication that the world is suffering financially at this time as trade between nations collapses.. True believers will “rejoice over her … you saints … for God has given judgment for you against her.” [v.20]
Our world is entering its most awesome final days – but there is no value in us having a belief that God will act to save the world from self destruction if we do not have a real relationship with God and Jesus is our Lord..