Morning Prayer: 15 Oct – Revelation 13:1-10 ~ the beast from the sea

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:1-10 (ESV) – to be read aloud

The Beast of the Sea  (Apocalypse Tapestry,  1377–1382) Musée de la Tapisserie, Château d'Angers, Angers

The Beast of the Sea
(Apocalypse Tapestry, 1377–1382)
Musée de la Tapisserie, Château d’Angers, Angers

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The beast from the sea (13:1-10)

Overview: In chapter 13 we are introduced to the two agents through whom Satan carries out his war against believers… described as beasts.The first comes from the sea, a grotesque, seven-headed monster (one head mutilated by the slash of a sword) who combines characteristics of leopard, bear, and lion. The unbelieving world worships both the beast and the dragon who gave him authority. The beast is allowed to blaspheme God and exercise his authority for forty-two months. He is permitted to make war against saints and conquer them. Those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life worship the beast. (Mounce, p.243-4)
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The beast from the sea (13:1-4)

The beast is the eschatological Antichrist who was foreshadowed in certain aspects of Rome, and in other totalitarian states as well…. The beast is to claim divine prerogatives… so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

The deification of the state and its ruler is not a phenomenon limited to the last days of the Antichrist;we have witnessed manifestations essentially of the same phenomenon in modern totalitarian states.

The beast, like Paul’s man of lawlessness (II Thess 2:9), is not merely the concentration of political and military power; it is the embodiment of satanic evil, drawing its power and authority from the dragon.

The purpose of the beast… is capturing the loyalties of men and diverting then from the worship of God. To turn from God and submit to the beast is in reality to worship Satan. The time of the Antichrist is a struggle for the souls of men. The beast will manifest such mighty power that he will convince the world of the futility of resisting him (cf. II Thess 2:9-10). (Ladd, p.177-9)
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Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
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Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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