6. Description of the scarlet woman and the scarlet beast
John was taken “into the wilderness” for this vision.
She was dressed in purple and scarlet
She wore beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls.
In her hand, she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.
A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”
John could see that the woman was drunk, drunk on the blood of God’s holy people, drunk on the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
(See also Rev 13:1)
It was entirely covered or stuffed with blasphemous names.
It had seven heads and ten horns.
7. a. The woman represents the arch enemy of God’s people.
She was “in bed” with the earthly powers who slaughtered God’s holy people and the witnesses of Jesus.
Does that “and” mean those are two separate groups? Perhaps Jews and Christians? Or Jewish believers and Gentile believers?
b. God used Babylon to bring judgment against Israel more than once.
God allowed the original Babylon to shed Jewish blood and destroy Jerusalem when they ignored the pleas and warnings God sent through the mouths of prophets.
The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. NLT
The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons at Riblah. The king of Babylon also slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him with bronze chains to lead him away to Babylon.
Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the royal palace, the temple, and the houses of the people, and they tore down the walls of the city. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles to Babylon the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had defected to him, and everyone else who remained. But Nebuzaradan allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind in the land of Judah, and he assigned them to care for the vineyards and fields. NLT
When two kings of Babylon showed brazen irreverence toward God, God sent troubling dreams and supernatural writing on the wall. Only an exiled Israelite named Daniel could interpret God’s message.
8. Many are more interested in and fascinated by the things of earth to excess or outside of God’s plan.
Advertisers find it all too easy to persuade us to overspend and overindulge.
Stuff: Jewelry, shoes, purses, clothes, new cars, antique cars, boats, electronics. It’s no wonder the storage shed industry is booming.
Legal activities: Gluttony, extravagant meals, vacations, corrupt movies, sexual activities outside of God’s original design, parties that involve corrupt activities, etc.
Illegal activities: Using illegal drugs for physical pleasure or to commit a crime, stealing stuff as a quick way to indulge your own desires,
Spirituality: In America I’ve noticed the educated and wealthy lean toward atheism, Buddism, and New Age. The latter is practiced like a spiritual buffet. There is no “truth”.
Yoga, a Hindu religious practice, has become one of the most popular forms of physical activity. I’ve heard arguments for and against Christians practicing it in settings where the religious aspect isn’t mentioned.
As for me, why did I decide it was my calling to steward the collections of china and other vintage items my grandparents spent countless hours collecting? That question came to me just last week.
When I voiced it out loud, my husband graciously said, “You treasure those things because they were important to family members you loved.”
I think it’s partly true. I feel guilty about getting rid of anything, although I have. I thought some, if not most of the items, were worth something. But it turns out, very little.
My sons and their wives have no interest in all that stuff. So I’ve packed and unpacked it, cleaned and dusted it, moved it from place to place and house to house—for years!
I knew before now that I should get rid of most of it, but I’ve only let go a little at the time.
My grandparents are in heaven now, so I’m sure they would gladly say how worthless it all is in the scheme of things. It actually became a burden to everyone who helped them move and dealt with their estate.
The things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Matthew 6:19-21 Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. NLT