We are walking through some very dark days in the history of Israelite leadership. Each new king seems to be worse than the one before. How is that even possible?
Meanwhile, we must assume that because Judah’s king, Asa, is following God, everything is going well over there. The remnant of the Israelite people living in Judah and Benjamin are living lives that are more pleasing to God, honoring him with their obedience.
We get a glimpse of how the two sides are getting ready for battle. Absalom is mobilizing his troops and David and his men are being cared for and supported by non-Israelites! What a difference!
Absalom puts Joab’s cousin, Amasa, in charge as commander. That must have been quite an honor for Amasa. It’s not mentioned, but I can’t help but wonder if there was any tension for Amasa knowing his cousin was loyal to King David? Again unspoken, but how was young Absalom feeling in this moment?
I couldn’t believe what I read in this text. I thought about splitting up the chapter, but having read the whole thing today knew I wouldn’t want to put off writing about this for one minute.
I know there are texts that are awesome and amazing to write about. I’ve found them on my journey through the Bible with you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Old Testament or New Testament, there are gems galore. This is not a gem today. In fact, this is the UGLIEST rock I’ve ever seen (if we stay with that analogy.) So what did you think of this?
The dragon now has another agent to help with his corruption of the world. It’s a little creepy how we see the formation of a demonic trinity here. Did you notice the attempts to “appear” similar to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Look closely. But these creatures truly represent false prophets because true prophets will lead people to God the Father, not a dragon or beast set on destruction.
It was in today’s passage that the “famous” mark of the beast is revealed. I say famous because it seems like most people associate the number 666 with the book of Revelation. Many times, that’s all people really know about the book. Yet they don’t truly understand what it means. And did you notice in the footnotes that some manuscripts record it as 616 instead of 666?
I’m pretty sure that everyone who reads Revelation is waiting to meet the beast. Not really “meet” as in a face to face encounter, but it’s who we’ve been expecting to see. There is a lot of attention given to the beast, so let’s figure out what we can about him.
We know that as Chapter 12 came to an end, the dragon was waiting for him. The text in 12:18 read, “Then he stood waiting on the shore of the sea.” We didn’t know then what the dragon was waiting for. But the fact that John’s vision included that gave me pause to wonder “waiting for what?” People often wait for “their ship to come in,” an idiom for the anticipation of success or wealth. Surely after his defeat in heaven, the dragon (Satan) was waiting for success.