Tuesday in the Twenty-Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 17:1-6

Enter the Great Prostitute

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore, go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). 

Now that the seventh bowl has revealed the certain destruction of the end of time, one of the seven angels comes to John to further reveal just what the seventh bowl will soon destroy: “The Great Prostitute who is seated on many waters.”  This is she whom the angel describes as the one whom “the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality” and “the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”  She rides a scarlet beast full of blasphemous names, with seven heads and ten horns, just like the beast of chapter thirteen.  The Whore herself is magnificently clothed and holds a golden cup full of the abominations and impurities of her whoredom.  In ancient Rome prostitutes wore headbands with their names.  We should think the same of her as the name written on her forehead reads: “Babylon the Great, mother of prostitutes and earth’s abominations.”

If the beast is the world system that coerces men to idolatry and murders those who refuse to submit, the “Great Prostitute” is the more seductive side.  She is the great city (certainly Rome of John’s day) which induces men to vanity, gluttony, sensuality, perversity, luxury, wantonness, greed, selfishness, ostentation, drunkenness, and excess in all things sinful.  She makes such things looks pleasant and even glamorous.  She entices with wealth, pleasure, and power.  What more could a pagan want?  Where the Whore succeeds, the beast need not waste time coercing.  And where she does not succeed, the beast must intervene through persecution and slaughter.  And the Harlot is just as happy for this as she herself is “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” 

This is Rome, Athens, Susa, and Babylon of ancient times.  There have been other cities which played such a role, and many would accuse Washington, D.C., of such today with her power to coerce for such abominations as abortion, sodomy, and all the things listed above.  But Christians must remember the word of the Lord quoted at the top.  We cannot be witnesses until we separate ourselves from sin, and sometimes, sinners.  They will accuse us of being “haters.”  They did so in ancient Rome—and do so now.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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