Revelation 13:1–10 (ESV)
The First Beast
13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was
like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its
mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast,
and who can fight against it?”
5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it
was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also
it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written
before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
In order to bolster his attacks against God and His people, the devil
enlists the aid of a hideous beast, which represents worldly power and political authority run amok. This scenario invites us to consider some important questions: Have we ever allowed an authority besides God to determine what is right or wrong for us? Have
we ever obeyed man rather than God? If so, seek God’s forgiveness in Christ. He invites us to believe that He chose us and wrote our name in His Book of Life before the world began.
I pray: Father, I thank You for making me Your own child through Christ Jesus. Grant me strength always to endure even difficult days, especially in these last times before the end. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2220.