And the angel said to me, Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her…
I. THE OPPOSING FORCES. Look abroad upon the earth. What a pandemonium of vice and crime, injustice and cruelty, heathenism and superstition it is. Oh, how mighty and multiplied the antagonist hosts! They are mustered and marshalled; they are eager for the strife of the battle, they confront us at every step; and the great question is this, Can they be overcome? Must we lay down our arms in despair! Is the world to become no better?
II. THE OPPOSING FORCES VANQUISHED. The Lamb will overcome them.
1. By the interpositions and changes of Providence. God has a purpose, the world is to be converted, and all things are working to accomplish that end; but God's way is in the sea, and His path in the mighty waters; He is the real, though invisible, ruler, both of matter and of mind. The laws of providence are just as Divine in their appointments and results as the laws of nature. All things work to usher in the day predicted by the angel's song, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."
2. By the preaching of His own truth and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Preaching is the appointment of heaven.
3. By the indomitable zeal and energy of His own followers. As the conflict advances, one shall chase a thousand and two shall put ten thousand to flight. In all ages God has carried on His work by the zeal, energy, and courage of His faithful servants. He did it even in the ages of miracles, He will do it till the world is saved; and why shrink from the task His benevolence appoints? Have we had no success? Did not Wesley and Whitfield arouse all England and North America to the worth of the gospel and the importance of eternal things? Are we faithful to the cause of the Lamb? Might He not reproach us for our doubts and fears? Where is the faith which wrought those moral wonders in the apostolic age?
(W. S. Edwards.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.