September 13, 2021
Scripture: Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. Revelation 13:16-17 ESV
Observation: Much has been made about this passage of John’s revelation. Each generation is prone to look for parallels in its culture to the beast’s mark (666, verse 18). While Bible commentators speculate its meaning and visibility, one aspect of the passage is certain: we are either marked by God or by our godless world. In chapter 7, verse 3, we are told that God will place his seal on the servants of God. In chapter 14, verse 1, John sees the Father’s name written on the foreheads of the elect.
Takeaway: So how do we keep from being tattooed by a godless world that serves the beast? Yahweh’s “shema” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) calls for the spiritual leaders of the home to bind (mark) their heads, hands, and doorposts with God’s laws. Every aspect of their lives was to be marked by God so that they and future generations would not conform to the patterns of this world but would renew their minds according to the Father’s good and perfect will (Romans 12:2). As pertains to the right hand, it was a sign of friendship and fellowship for the first-century church (Galatians 2:9). In contrast, the beast will mark the right hand to cause strife between the church and the culture. Thus, we need to choose wisely to whom we extend our right hand of fellowship.
Prayer: Gracious and merciful God, thank you for marking us as your own. Please help us renew our minds in your Truth and grasp the right hand of fellowship among true believers. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling