S (Scripture): Revelation 13:3b And the whole world followed the beast in amazement; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: “Who is like the beast?” and “Who is able to make war against him?” 5 The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months. 6 So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God – to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, 8 and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed.
9 If anyone has an ear, he had better listen!
10 If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed by the sword, then by the sword he must be killed.
This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints.
O (Observation): The Dragon has now given the beast power to wreak havoc in the world. And not only this, but God seems to have allowed this beast to rule…but for a limited time (3 & 1/2 years, to be exact).
This tells me that while God may be allowing this beast to rule, the beast will only rule for so long before God takes the power back. God is still the ultimate authority.
The author seems to be revealing a notion that difficulties might lie ahead, but that all saints are called to endure even in the face of what seems like certain devastation…because God still reigns….and always has.
A (Application): Following the beast is tempting. Bowing to the world’s authority is scary, and promises comfort. Sometimes that power looks like a big army, a big government, a church leader who declares God’s will (but with little to no humility).
We can hardly be sure any one group or government or religion has got it all together. I always look at ideologies through the lens of faith. What is always at the center for me? The Cross. (At least … it should be : )
With the cross at the center, humility becomes the way for me. Am I one who’s name is written in the Book of Life somewhere? I hope so! Do I take advantage of that? I hope not!
As you can see, evil lurks, but God reigns! Let God’s power and might rule in your heart, mind, and soul this day.
P (Prayer): Lord, grant us peace in our day’s difficulties. Amen.