Once again John brings his reader back to the beginning of the story in chapter 17. This new perspective introduces another character: a harlot named Babylon. She is a seductive temptress, but she represents much more than just sexual sin. As her name infers, she represents the aspect of every society in history that has had its focus on the sensual pleasures of the world (not just the actual Babylon where Israel was exiled to).
Reformed commentator William Hendriksen puts it this way: The woman and her golden cup filled with abominable things represents
whatever is used by the world in order to turn believers away from their God is in this cup: pornographic literature, sports in which one becomes completely absorbed, luxuries, worldly fame and power, the lusts of the flesh, and so on. Let everyone make his own list.
This woman consorts with the kings of the world throughout history who have poisoned every possible realm such as art, education, commerce, industry and so on by conscripting those otherwise good things and making them serve evil rather than glorifying the creator.
But the good news of salvation comes early on in this perspective, and it's seen in v14:
They will 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.”
This is this week's memory verse, so say it over and over in your head to burn it in.
Prayer For The Day: Father God, help me to recognize the traps the world has set which are designed to draw my attention away from you. I confess that so often these things looks attractive to me. Help me to realize their true ugly, hideous nature. Thank you for another reminder of your victory in verse 14, and help me as I memorize it. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.