Daily Readings & Thought for June 29th. “FOR IN A SINGLE HOUR”
We are nearing the climax of the book of Revelation. It contains our Lords’ ultimate prophetic parables: the symbols he uses are challenging. The end of ch. 17 describes a prostitute (harlot) that rides a beast. We take the woman to represent the ultimate false religious system. For centuries this has been identified as false Christianity, primarily Roman Catholicism, but we recognise that most other forms of Christianity have adopted her false teaching on heaven going and that souls are immortal.
We also need to remember that Jesus saw just two options before mankind. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” [Matt. 6 v.24] It is clear what 99+% of people follow today. So when we read today in Revelation ch. 18, ‘For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.’ And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out …, ‘What city was like the great city?’ And … they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste.” [v.17-19] The reference to the “single hour” is repeated for emphasis.
Now it is true that the R.C. church has acquired great wealth – and persecuted faithful Bible believers in centuries past, as the final verse in this chapter indicates; but the picture we see in these verses in Revelation is of a final financial disaster that is world-wide. The 2nd verse of ch. 19 tells us that God “has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” We are in awe of the nature of what God will very soon bring on the world, now that his chosen people are back in the promised land and appear to “dwell securely” – ponder Ezekiel 34 v.28-31.
A final thought! Back in Rev. ch. 19 we read that John is told, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” [v.9] We recall that Jesus, at the ‘last supper’ with his disciples told them he would not eat it again “until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” [Luke 22 v.16] We may have to endure in true and complete faith “for … a single hour” knowing our Lord “will send out the angels and gather his elect” [Mark 13 v27] as that “single hour” reaches its awesome climax, conscious also of our Lord’s words, “if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” [Matt 24 v.22]