by Rev Jason Phua
Readings: Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21
READ (verse chosen for meditation)
Revelation 17:8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.”
Revelation 17:8 is a parody of Revelation 4:8 where God is depicted as the One “who was, and is and is to come”. Here, the evil one “was, and is not and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction”. Where the eternal Word of God is concerned, the destinies of two sides of the battle is clear. Where there is God, there will be life and eternity. Where there is evil, there will be destruction. Why was a parody given to the Apostle John? Why not just speak plainly? It might be that even as evil always try to imitate what is good; a parody is given to highlight the truth that however much evil tries, it can never give what God can.
All who know God are not reborn to be perfect. Instead, we are reborn with the seed to strive for perfection even to the day we are home in the Lord. We could be struggling with an addiction that has been going on for many years; we could be wavering in the faith because of a loved one who is in pain or had passed away; we could have taken flight from worshipping God for a long time; or we could be feeling so helpless that we want to die. Whatever the situation, no matter the depth of the darkness we are finding ourselves in, Revelation 17:8 reminded that we are not to follow the beast into its doom and destruction; but we are to follow the Light who will bring us out of darkness. There is always hope and there is always a choice. We could have been making the wrong choices, but today is the day to make it right.
May He who is able, help us make the right choice and continue with perseverance to fight the good fight of faith in Him. Amen.