“Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language. The scarlet beast and his ten horns all hate the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her remains with fire. For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world.””
Revelation 17:15-18 NLT
Oh dear! It seems as though something has gone wrong with the world religious cult, referred to as the “great prostitute”. All of a sudden, it seems, the “scarlet beast and his ten horns” have fallen out with this religion followed by the “masses of people of every nation and language” and have decided to destroy it. The angel’s description is graphic, and what it means symbolically amounts to a brutal put down of all who diligently follow then “great prostitute“. Perhaps, the devil finally realised that the cult’s worship had replaced what he really desired, which was worship of himself. But God had a plan, and you can just imaging Him whispering in the devil’s ear, “Look out – you’re being side-lined here, they don’t want to worship you anymore”. But God’s plan was profound. He was setting up the beast for annihilation, which we will read about in the next chapter in Revelation.
We read in Psalm 119:89, “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.” Isaiah 40:7-8 says, “…. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” The problem with anything built on a God-less foundation is that it will eventually collapse and disappear. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus taught that anything built on other than His teaching will eventually collapse. We read, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24). I’m writing this just after watching the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service, held on 19th September 2022 in Westminster Abbey, London. Here was a monarch whose passing, after over seventy years, has left people feeling bereft and a bit insecure. But she was human – still a remarkable and dedicated servant of course – but someone who cannot provide the security we have in our Heavenly Father. He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
On what foundation are we pilgrims building? We are servants of the Most High, dedicated to His service in an increasingly secular world. And our foundation is God Himself. Psalm 18:31 reads, “For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?”. Hebrews 12:28 says, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.”
There is an old hymn entitled, “My hope is built on nothing less” and the chorus goes;
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
There is no other foundation that will endure like God’s.
Dear Father. We praise and worship the solid Rock. You watch over us and the affairs of men and we can rest secure in Your protection and love. Amen.