OT: Zechariah 9:1-17
For the first eight verses of today's reading, the prophecy turns negative, warning Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod that they will be conquered. I don't know if those are separate kingdoms or different towns in the same kingdom, but the bottom line is, things will take a turn for the worse for them.
Verse 9 reverts back to positive messages for Jerusalem. In that verse, Zechariah prophecies of a future king:
"See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Of course, we believe that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy during the triumphal entry.
The rest of the prophecy continues with good news for Jerusalem, news of prisoners being released, battles being won, and prosperity returning and strengthening the people.
NT: Revelation 17:1-18
Today, we are introduced to a prostitute who kills saints and sleeps with the kings of lots of nations. A beast with ten horns will eventually kill her.
One phrase that was repeated several times in this passage really encapsulates my frustration with Revelation: "The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction." The idea of something once existing, not currently existing, and existing again in the future is simple enough to grasp, and yet...what?? I get the idea, but not the application. Perhaps the reason I don't get it is that, "This calls for a mind with wisdom," and clearly, I am lacking in that area (9).
I do see, though, why my dad is a preterist. I think that's what it is called. Basically, he thinks that the events in Revelation already happened, that the language is all symbolic, and it is mostly to do with Rome. Verses like verse 9 seem to indicate to me that John expects his audience to understand much more of what he is saying than I do. And if that is true, then he must be writing about current events and kingdoms, things "a mind with wisdom" can grasp. I know it is not the popular view to say that Revelation already happened or is purely symbolic, but that's how I'm personally leaning.
An ode to God's faithfulness, which spans the generations.
This one is kind of funny: it tells people who have played the fool or planned evil to cover their mouths. Kind of silly sounding.