PROSTITUTE AT LARGE
Strengthening Lord, be beside me to give me courage, above me to protect me, within me to empower me.
Read REVELATION 17:1–18
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“With persuasive words she (the prostitute) led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk” (Prov. 7:21).
John is given another view of what has taken place. There is the attack on the church in persecution, but there are other ways in which Satan seeks to seduce the people of God. The bombastic, power-hungry beast will be unattractive to the people of God, but it can be another story when we are confronted by the attractive prostitute who has arrayed herself to entice lovers. The luxuries of Rome could be a very attractive proposition for first-century Christians. There was so much beauty in her, just as there is for us in the world today. From his vantage point in the desert, however, John sees her in her true colors. In contrast with the other woman in the desert (Rev. 12), she is Babylon, the persecutor of the church.
G. B. Caird writes: “The magic is broken; the fairy godmother, who has put her spell on the whole world through the brilliance of her appearance and the munificence of her presents, is revealed as the old witch, old in sorcery before ever Rome grew to be her latest and most powerful incarnation, mother of whores and of all the obscenity on earth.” John wants us to be disgusted at the whore, so that we are always suspicious of anything that entices us away from God. Her image is drawn from the warnings in Proverbs of the enticements of prostitutes and from the cult of the Mother Goddess that was so prevalent in Asia Minor.
John says this prostitute rides on the beast that he has identified in other chapters. Let the believer avoid all that leads to sin, however attractive it may be, for it entices to what leads to death and it will be destroyed.
Examine your life. Are there any attractive things in the world that draw you away from God?
Lord, I know Satan can come across as an angel of light. May I be alert to the subtleties of his temptation and be empowered to resist.
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