12/20/M – Passing Down Praise

Zechariah 9:1-8; Revelation 17:1-8; Psalms 145:1-7; Proverbs 30:15-16

NT: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who is seated on many waters. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.” Then he carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, jewels, and pearls. She had a golden cup in her hand filled with everything detestable and with the impurities of her prostitution. On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Detestable Things of the Earth. Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.” (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭17:1-6‬ ‭CSB)

God’s final judgement on the world was revealed to John from different perspectives. The first was a high-level perspective, shown to him as a reaping of the earth. The second perspective was mid-level, shown to him through the pouring out of seven bowls of wrath. With Revelation 17 begins a detailed, ground-level description of the final defeat of the enemies of God and His people.

In his vision, John is carried away into the wilderness where he is able to view the final days of a notorious prostitute with whom all the nations of the world were involved with. Written on the forehead of the prostitute was her identity: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and the Detestable Things of the Earth. Babylon’s history goes all the way back to the ancient city of Babel, where humanity became so confident in their abilities, that they attempted to build a tower to reach God. Babylon is therefore symbolic of all human-made systems and institutions that seek to remove the need for dependence on God. Those systems include the man-made religious systems, economic systems, governmental and political systems of the world. It is amazing, especially in the days we live in, to see how ready and willing people are to jettison their reliance and submission to the Lord God for the flawed and often failed systems of the world.

Undergirding the prostitute was the beast – also known as the Antichrist. Ultimately behind the rejection of God for the systems of the world is the antichrist spirit birthed from the lies and deception of Satan. Further reading of the book of Revelation will reveal that Satan has no loyalty or affinity for the lures of Babylon – he simply uses them as a ruse to lure people away from the worship of God in order to worship him.

Psalms: “I exalt you, my God the King, and bless your name forever and ever. I will bless you every day; I will praise your name forever and ever. The Lord is great and is highly praised; his greatness is unsearchable. One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts. I will speak of your splendor and glorious majesty and your wondrous works. They will proclaim the power of your awe-inspiring acts, and I will declare your greatness. They will give a testimony of your great goodness and will joyfully sing of your righteousness.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭145:1-7‬ ‭CSB)

Surrounding, and often infiltrating the nation of Israel were the pagan, human-based and Satan-inspired religious and political systems of the world. Israel stood as a lone beacon of truth and light in a world filled with deception and darkness. David was not willing to give in to or compromise with the pagan worship that surrounded him. He boldly stated, “I exalt You, my God the King… I bless Your name forever and ever…. Every day, I will bless you and praise Your name – the great and unsearchable God.” However, David knew that the worship and praise of God could not start and end with him. For Israel to ever fulfill its calling and purpose, the worship of the living Lord God must far outlive him.

The enemy of our souls never stops in his quest to rob worship from God. He never stops with his lies and deception to lure people away from the God of life, and trap them in dead-end self-reliance and idol worship. At any given point in time, we are always one generation away from becoming a godless society. Therefore, not only was it David’s goal to lift up praise to God; it’s was his goal to proclaim the praises of God to the next generations. He was not willing to allow the exploits and goodness of God to merely become the things of myth and legend. Each generation needed to have a living testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness to continue the prophetic call that was on God’s people. The same is true for us. It isn’t enough for us to have a faith in God. We must pass down our faith and the praise of the Living God and His Christ to the generations that come after us – so that they will not fall to Satan’s schemes and become clientele of the systems of Babylon.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your love, mercy, and great faithfulness to me. You are my God and King and I will praise You. However, it is not enough for your worship and praise to start and end with me. Help me to put priority in proclaiming Your praises to the generations to come. May the authentic praise and worship of Father God and the Lord Jesus Christ be my legacy to those who come after me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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