Revelation 17

Four observations from our reading today:

  • God is sovereign. Even the rebellion of the kings is a part of His plan (17:17)!
  • Spiritual idolatry is often compared to sexual immorality in the Bible, and we see that here. As believers, our love for God is supposed to be all consuming. Putting anything else in His place is like engaging in adultery. And idolatry doesn’t have to have a literal false God as its object. Greed can be idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
  • At the very least, if it’s not the actual evil kingdom represented here, Rome is being used as a template for what is to come. A prosperous, international power. A city that sits on seven mountains. Kings swearing allegiance to a greater power (like an emperor). A prior ruler who was, who is not, but is to come (Nero). We can’t ignore the parallels from that time that are present when we try to interpret Revelation.
  • All Satan can provide are poor imitations of the truth. The city of Babylon is a poor imitation of the New Jerusalem (compare the description here to the description in chapter 21). A king who was, is not, and is to come, compared to a king who was, and is, and is to come! One of our jobs as believers is to warn others about the Satanic counterfeits that are in the world. Legalism is a poor substitute for grace. Lust is a poor substitute for love. Greed is a poor substitute for charity. Selfishness is a poor substitute for selflessness. The list could go on, and on, and on.

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