Like the rest of the book of Revelation, chapter 17 is filled with colorful illusions that at first glance seem hard to understand. The main point of question in this chapter is: who exactly is this prostitute and what does she symbolize?
We know based on verse 5 that the prostitute is an illustration of the city of Babylon, an empire that plays a prominent role in Old Testament history. Essentially Babylon was an extremely powerful and brutal empire that left no prisoners. In Isaiah 47, the collapse of the empire was foretold and came to pass around the year 539 BC at the hands of the Persians.
The next time Babylon is brought up is in the New Testament, and this time it is used as a “symbol of the world at war with the people of God” in 1 Peter 5. And so in Revelation 17, we see that what is really happening is that “the Whore of Babylon is the spirit of seductive culture, actively engaged in the deception and destruction of God’s people. That she rides upon “the beast” means she is propped up by the forces of anti-Christian government.” (Paul Carter)
So, Christians are at war with the sinfulness of culture, and therefore we must be on guard against the idols and messages that could lead us astray. The truth that we can cling to in the midst of living in a world that is so against the cause of Christ is found in verse 14:
Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.
As powerful as sin and Satan are, Christians can have hope in the overwhelming, resounding victory of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is in Christ that sin and Satan find their ultimate defeat, and where Christians find their ultimate victory.
By: Graham Withers
"It is in Christ that sin and Satan find their ultimate defeat, and where Christians find their ultimate victory."
Man, good word today, Graham. When Satan comes creeping in as he so often does, we can rely on the fact that we, in Christ, already have victory. It's great to be pointed to that truth today!
I was thinking the same Scottie-that really stood out to me also!!!