The people’s desire for equality and fairness and their leaders’ thirst for power only fueled hatred and contempt for their enemies. Without Jesus’ grace or forgiveness, one doesn’t seek fairness but instead ugliness, oppression, or even violence.
Today, we are divided by gender, race, economics, and politics, yet the darkness emphasizes our enduring yearning for light. I am reminded that dark times present opportunities for hope, opportunities for a shining light to make a difference.
Too often, people interpret the Apocalypse of John through a sensational or speculative lens. One problem with obsessing over speculative predictions is that it eliminates the need for commitment in the present. We in the West tend to be oblivious to the suffering occurring around us, often placing prophetic fulfillment in the future, so we can relate. A future application of Revelation 13 can be argued, but I choose to read the issues presented by John on the island of Patmos as timeless values rather than just predictive events.