|Vampires this way ---->|
I know, I know... some people will say anything to get readers for their blog. But I am listening to a great series on Revelation by Voddie Baucham; he's in chapter 7, but I got to reading ahead:
"...and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." (Rev 17:3-6)
I haven't lived that long (compared to some!) but I've heard of some crazy things people drink to get a buzz, but blood? That sounds like something only found on Oct. 31st... but we can loosely associate this symbolic woman and the mythical beasts Hollywood exposes us to. Both hunger for, live off of and are completely unsatisfied without blood. Now, your average vamp show or movie (I watched a lot of them B.C.; before conversion/Christ) invariably has that conflicted character, the one that is fed up (pun intended) with killing, and now just wants to live at peace. This virtuous vamp usually subsists on animal blood, but lives in a haze of unfulfillment, because nothing compares to the good ol' human stuff.
|Strange brew in there, I bet...|
"All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil... My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts-- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.... deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men... My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;" (Ps. 56:5, 57:4, 59:2, Prov 1:10-12)This is the sad, unavoidable reality of all those outside of Christ: in their nature and at heart, they hate Him and heartily approve of His murder. What's more, they hate all those who follow Christ and desire them dead (Matt 10:25). I know it's hard to reconcile this biblical teaching with the nice, little old lady who lives down the street and bakes the most delicious cookies, but just happens to be a Buddhist; we all know and care for polite, friendly unbelievers, and have, in certain cases, been thankful for their generosity. To be sure, God does restrain the evil thoughts and actions of every lost person, and even uses them to bless His children so that "all things work together for the good of them that love God." But again, everyone who is not God's child through Jesus has another father (Jn 8:44) and "the works of their father they will do." I think I see this clearly because of God's insight into my own lust for violence: I'm sure I seemed a nice enough guy as an unbeliever. I held down a job, paid my taxes and even attended church regularly. But give me an excuse to pummel someone and a couple of guys on my side, and I didn't hesitate to instigate rather than pacify. This is the mindset of the woman and her master: a lust for violence and abject fury towards those who preach and embody God and His righteousness.
|What's in the cup?|
"For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."Job 21:20, Ps 60:3, Isa 51:17,and Jer 25:15 all mention or allude to this cup that God has for those who sin against Him. And the cup is full of God's judgment... the dregs in ancient fermentation were especially bitter and harsh; so I feel safe in concluding that the cup in the woman's hand not only shows what she thirsts for and indulges in, but how God has judged her. Romans 1 repeatedly speaks of unbelievers who are "given over" to sin as a punishment for sin; the message of comfort for God's beleaguered people is that God has judged their tormentors. We need only "rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Rev 6:11) This last book of the Bible is thought by many to be difficult and incomprehensible (and to be fair, I wouldn't teach it to 1st graders!), but it is filled with encouragement for those "that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (14:12)
P.S. Sorry for the sparse posting of late... I tried to write several things at once, and was doomed to failure!
Photos courtesy of jm3, MaxSparber, Mr. T in DC