Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Dec 26 2013 - Revelation 17:1-18 – The Lamb will triumph

This morning we have another dark chapter. ‘Babylon’ or Rome with its empire is pictured as a monstrous prostitute who has enticed many with her corruptions. She dazzles the world with her riches while making herself drunk on the blood of the people of God. She ensnares the world through the offer of luxury while delivering slavery.

The picture becomes increasingly complex as the chapter develops its theme but the basic message is clear. Christians suffering under the oppression of the Roman Empire are to take heart; the days of their oppressor are numbered – the prostitute will be brought to ruin. The powers of this world may wage war against the Lamb, "but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers" (Revelation 17:14). The Lamb will triumph, and his people will share in that triumph.

Jesus has sat down at God's right hand,
he is reigning now on David's throne.
God has placed all things beneath his feet,
his enemies will be his footstool.

      For the government is now upon his shoulder,
      for the government is now upon his shoulder,
      and of the increase of his government and peace
      there will be no end, there will be no end,
      there will be no end.

God has now exalted him on high,
given him a name above all names.
Every knee will bow and tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.

      For the government is now upon his shoulder,
      for the government is now upon his shoulder,
      and of the increase of his government and peace
      there will be no end, there will be no end,
      there will be no end.

Jesus is now living in his church,
those who have been purchased by his blood,
they will serve their God, a royal priesthood,
and they will reign on earth.

      For the government is now upon his shoulder,
      for the government is now upon his shoulder,
      and of the increase of his government and peace
      there will be no end, there will be no end,
      there will be no end.

Sound the trumpets, good news to the poor,
captives will go free, the blind will see,
the kingdom of this world will soon become
the kingdom of our God.

      For the government is now upon his shoulder,
      for the government is now upon his shoulder,
      and of the increase of his government and peace
      there will be no end, there will be no end,
      there will be no end.

(Jonathan Wallis)

Take a long hard look at the world in which we live until you clearly recognise its empty enticements and pitiless enslavements; its corrupt governments, voracious corporations and myriad small oppressions and injustices. All this shall pass, but the kingdom of our God and of his Christ shall last for ever.

Lord God, keep us from the empty enticements of this world that would lead us away from simple faith in the Lord Jesus. Give us patient endurance in the life of discipleship and faithfulness in our counter-cultural witness to Christ. Help us to have our eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus, the beauty of his holy character and the glory of his kingdom of righteousness and peace. May we love him above all things and desire nothing more than him. As your people, help us to bear witness to the coming kingdom by the pattern of our shared lives and by our testimony to Christ our Lord.

Peter Misselbrook