Thoughts on the Passage
How does satan attack God’s people when any direct attack fails and he fails spectacularly? He goes to the one group of people who will not be destroyed – those people who oppose Jesus. The sea is again the representation of all humanity and he goes into this sea to find the right people who will attack the Church. These people will hate the Church, hate Jesus and hate God’s requirement to humble their heart and seek forgiveness through Jesus. It is a combination of their own personal choice, but also the fact that satan deceives them and blinds their hearts. God gives all mankind a chance to seek forgiveness – including these people. That opens the door for them to live in rebellion to God for a period of time – this is the only open door for satan.
This is the door for the two people mentioned in this chapter – the anti-Christ and the false prophet.
The picture in this passage is about the anti-Christ and the organization that he will head. The great beast described is directly out of Daniel 7 where Daniel sees this creature and wonders about it. It represents an empire with great power and strength and one that oppresses God’s people with great hatred. The leader of this empire is called the beast – the anti-Christ. Satan grants his authority to him and empowers him with everything he has – power, authority, and signs and wonders. The individual uses these and with the power of the empire, oppresses and attacks God’s people for a period of time. This individual has the heart of satan – full of pride, blasphemy, hatred, and a heart to oppress. He will use it.
Father, I know that there are people with a wicked heart that are willing to do satan’s work. I know that You give all mankind a chance to repent and that You show great patience and mercy to people who do not deserve it. I see it again today with this man. The empire that arises – and the leaders that run it – will be a destructive group. satan takes advantage of this mercy to attack us today through these people. It is difficult to see Your mercy used against Your children. It is difficult to see Your justice put on hold for people who take advantage of it to oppress and destroy. Father, I know that it opens the door for this world to see satan for who he is and Jesus’ love for what it is – and to choose Jesus! In the end that is what You want for mankind. Make that my desire as well. May I show Jesus for who He is to a world that is oppressed by satan. The time is short – it will not last long. Give me a strong, faithful and bold heart to show the love of Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.