Revelation 17:15–18 (ESV)
The Great Prostitute and the Beast
15 And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate
and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman that you
saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
I’m glad that this reading for today is short, because I fell asleep Friday night as I was working on this for Saturday.
I missed most of the movie, but I guess I was tired. We are still at the scene of the Great Prostitute and the Beast. We start at verse 15, but I want to go back to verse 1 of this chapter which states: “Then one of the seven angels who
had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers
on earth have become drunk.” To picture 17:15, you need to remember 17:1 where the great prostitute is seated on many waters. The “waters” is explained in today’s reading as people, not actual water.
It is a sea of people, or as the scripture today says: “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.” What is interesting is in today’s readings, God turns the
people and the beast against the great prostitute. God has often worked through unbelievers to carry out his divine purpose. Just like when Jerusalem was destroyed, God worked through unbelievers or evil ones like Cyrus, the Assyrians, the Babylonians,
etc... to carry out punishment on God’s own children. In today’s reading, we see God turning Satan’s followers against the great prostitute. I think there is a big “key” here that is easy to miss... that is... God
IS in control... and always has been. These people have been cursing God and now they just helped God. They still don’t understand that God just “used” them. This reminds me of the verse in Philippians 2:10–11: “10
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” In the end, even the nonbelievers will be bowing on their
knees and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord. The only problem is that it will be too late. And when I say that every knee will bow... you will see even Satan on his knee bowing and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord. I pray: Lord,
we know that you are the Creator of all things, and that you are all powerful. You created all the angels, even Satan. Many of your creation will rebel against you, both humans and (bad) angels. Help us to never fall into the trap of worshiping
created things rather than the Creator, that is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are our God. We give thanks for your grace and mercy. Amen.