March 28, 2022
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant
About six years ago I attended my first Bible study, EVER! The study was on the Book of Revelation, and it was taught by Pastor Mary (Haley). To begin my biblical journey at the “end” of the Bible seemed odd to me, and if I’m being completely honest, much of that study seemed odd at the time. However, I kept attending, and when I didn’t understand things, I would park them in a folder that Pastor Mary asked me to create within my head. She told me that Jesus would bring wisdom to those things within His time. Following that study, and over the next couple of years, I did many deep dive studies on my own into the Book of Revelation. At the same time, I studied many other Books within the Bible, and so when Pastor Mary offered another Bible study on Revelation (about 3 years following my first study) I was so excited to attend. I was amazed at how the Lord took things that I had parked within that “head folder” and guided me with His wisdom to bring spiritually understand to my soul (my mind, will, and emotions). All of this to say, I am humbled that I get to share with you a piece of Revelation in today’s devotion. Full disclaimer, there are many different theological views for this section, I will be sharing one that speaks to me, and I encourage you to further study.
Our passage is the “Songs of Victory in Heaven” from Revelation 19:1-10. In order to understand why there is this great praise in this section, we must first understand that Revelation 18 “The Fall of Babylon” happens and then there is a continuation into chapter 19 of praise for that fall. Many of us want to know what, where, and who is Babylon? There are many different views, but for today’s devotion we will focus on Babylon as representing the whole political and religious system of the world. So, what causes Babylon to fall? Her excessive luxuries, pride, and evil deeds (18:3-7) oppress God’s people (18:20) and thus her sins and broken systems cause her to fall. There are many who will mourn Babylon’s fall: the kings of the earth (18:9-10), the merchants (18:11-17), and the sea captains and sailors (18:18). However, there are many who will rejoice with heaven at the fall of Babylon the Great (19:2-3).
So, will you mourn the fall, or will you rejoice? It might seem like a simple question. If Babylon, the worldly “prostitute”, is so awful and against God you will rejoice with heaven…right? But, keep in mind, you and I reside within these human vessels that have a vested interest in the future of earthly institutions, society, and our country. Which means that choice will be difficult. You and I MUST never lose sight that we were, are, and will for all of eternity be spirits, within these “flesh suits”, that belong to God. Jesus reminds us that we MUST “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt 7:13-14)
FRIENDS, I firmly believe that Jesus is talking to us, His followers, and we do NOT want to follow the earthly wide gate and broad road, we MUST follow Jesus into His small gate and narrow road. This path will be difficult, and it will not be accepted by the world.
John reminds us of who we are within today’s passage (19:7-8), we are Jesus’s bride, which is the complete opposite of an earthly prostitute. But Jesus teaches us to come prepared for the wedding (Matt 22:1-14), we need to be living clean and holy lives; and we cannot get distracted or be late when Jesus returns (Matt 25:1-13).
Revelation 19:1-10 (NLT)
Songs of Victory in Heaven
1 After this, I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting,
“Praise the Lord!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.
2 His judgments are true and just.
He has punished the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality.
He has avenged the murder of his servants.”
3 And again their voices rang out:
“Praise the Lord!
The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever!”
4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Praise the Lord!”
5 And from the throne came a voice that said,
“Praise our God,
all his servants,
all who fear him,
from the least to the greatest.”
6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:
“Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice,
and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
and his bride has prepared herself.
8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”
10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”
Prayer: Jesus, I praise You and thank You for being my bridegroom. Help me, Lord, to continuously cleanse in Your baptismal water. I want to be a holy bride who is ready for You at any moment. Please continue to prepare my heart for Your return. I pray all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.