August 25, 2021
Scripture: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17 ESV
Observation: Located about 65 miles north of Smyrna in the fertile valley of the Caicus River, Pergamum was the provincial capital of Roman Asia. In Christ’s appeal to its church, he warns his followers to avoid those who are duplicitous in their Christian beliefs. Pergamum was a wealthy and highly educated community, boasting a library second only to that of Alexandria. Its self-consumed culture promoted promiscuity. Hence, some within the church practiced a sensual lifestyle of eating food offered to pagan gods and engaged in the services of temple prostitutes (in a manner likened to Balaamites and Nicolaitans).
Takeaway: The devil will work from every angle. If he cannot divide the church through external suffering and persecution (as was his means in Smyrna), he will seek to fragment the church from within by twisting our understanding of God’s love and holiness. But for those of us who stand firm on the truth, who refuse to follow the trends within the church that would compromise God’s holiness, we will receive the manna from his glorious banquet of eternal life and a new and unique redeemed name known only by Christ and us.
Prayer: Father God, please help us to hold fast to your calling to be holy as you are holy and to be vigilant against Satan’s divisive machinations in and outside the church. And thank you that we will one day enjoy your eternal banquet and treasure our unique redeemed names. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling