The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. (Rev. 17:4)
I flew from Michigan to Minneapolis and needed a rental car. The cheapest rental available was labeled “Dealer’s Choice,” which meant the company would give me whatever car they had available when I arrived. To my delight, the rental agent told me I would be driving a luxury coupe. It was sleek and powerful, with more bells and whistles than I’d ever seen. I was enjoying my drive on a rural road when I heard a distinct crack.
A passing car had thrown a rock into my very expensive windshield, and the crack slowly spread across the glass. It was a gentle reminder that even the most exotic possessions are fragile. Expensive cars are made of steel that crumples and glass that breaks on impact. Diamonds can get lost or stolen. Oceanfront homes are vulnerable to storms surges and hurricane-force winds.
The woman in Revelation 17 was clothed in luxury and style, her accessories glittered and shone. But a closer look showed something ugly: her golden goblet was filled with filth. John wanted the churches in Asia Minor to know that being wealthy is not the same as being godly. It’s possible to look financially strong and be spiritually weak. Revelation reminds us, “Don’t be deceived. All that glitters isn’t gold. One day our possessions will fade and crumble, so store up treasures in heaven.”
Remember that material things eventually lose their appeal.
Steve Norman is a Wesleyan pastor, speaker, and author. He lives in West Michigan and serves the Great Lakes region.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.