Morning Prayer: 16 Oct – Revelation 13:5-10 ~ call for endurance and faith

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

carte-syrie-irak_EN

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 Although martyrdom is impending, the final triumph of the saints is assured, because Satan is already a defeated foe. Defeated though he is, he will be allowed at the end time to wage one final convulsive warfare against the saints through the agency of the beast. (Ladd, p.176)
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War on the saints (13:5-7)

Blasphemy here means to do or say anything that desecrates God’s name or violates his glory and deity…. It is the exaltation of a human claim over the claim of God upon man’s loyalty and worship. (Ladd, p.180)

Mosul: ISIS has been going door to door, marking houses occupied by Christians, and setting conditions: Either convert to Islam, leave the country, pay tax for being none-Muslim, or die. (July, 2014)

Mosul: ISIS has been going door to door, marking houses occupied by Christians, and setting conditions: Either convert to Islam, leave the country, pay tax for being non-Muslim, or die.
(July, 2014)

The primary purpose of the beast is to turn men away from Christ, which he attempts by fierce persecution. That he conquers them does not mean in this context that he succeeds in perverting their loyalty from Christ to the beast – i.e., in apostatizing them, but he does succeed in waging terrible persecution…. Their very martyrdom was their victory; they stood steadfast in their loyalty to Christ and refused to worship the beast or the dragon…. John looks far beyond his own horizon to a time when an anti-Christian ruler will be allowed to exercise a worldwide sovereignty. (Ladd, p.180-1)

The Lamb’s book of life (13:8)

In this last day no one will be exempt except Christians, who will pay for their loyalty to Christ with their lives…. The Lamb’s book of life (Rev 3:5)… is the register of those who have been saved by faith in the crucified Lamb of God. That their names were written before the foundation of the world carries the assurance that even though they seem to be powerless before the attacks of the beast, they are really in the keeping providence of God and have been since the foundation of the world. (Ladd, p.181)

Endurance and faith (13:9-10)

There is a certain grim reality that lies ahead for believers. They will be taken into captivity, and many will be put to death by the sword. As their Master met death at the hands of a hostile secular power, so also they will meet the same fate…. (Mounce, p.253)

When the impending persecution breaks upon the church, believers will need to meet it with steadfast endurance and an unwavering faith…. The view that God will remove his people from the suffering of those days creates a faulty expectation that will work against their need for patient endurance and faithfulness. (Mounce, p.254)
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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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3 replies

  1. With the awful stuff going on here in America, we still don’t get it. The horrors our brothers and sisters are facing around the world. Syria. Iraq. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Yemen. Kenya. Nigeria. And on and on. Martyrdom is increasing.
    Thanks for this post.

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