The opposition to God is described in many ways in the book of Revelation, but in our reading today it is focused on two beasts. The first beast comes out of the sea and becomes an object of worship for the world. This beast then uses its power to stand against God and his people. A second beast comes out of the earth, calls for worship of the first beast and uses "great signs" to deceive the world. Further, this second beast will control the economic system of the earth. These beasts will seem to hold all of the power and authority on the planet, but, ultimately, it is just a mirage.
The question we must answer is what should our response to the beasts be and, in general, how should we respond to opposition that we face for following God. We are told explicitly in verse 10 that we are to have "patient endurance and faithfulness." First, endurance means regardless of the opposition we face, we will continue to follow Christ. Even if it makes our lives more difficult (which happens in many ways in Revelation) we must keep following Christ. Maturity and the refining of our faith comes through endurance. Secondly, faithfulness means we remain committed to God. The world is described as worshiping the beast, but we cannot give in to this temptation. We must continually put Christ at the center of our lives and give our ultimate allegiance to him alone. Regardless of the difficulty or opposition we face, we must keep going in putting Christ first in our lives.
Question of the day: What can you do to grow your endurance or faithfulness to God today?
Father God, thank you for the life which you offer me. You are the only source of life, forgiveness, and salvation. Therefore, help me to remain committed to following you and putting you first in my life. Help me to flee from sin and run to you today. Amen.