Listen to today’s devo!

Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. (Rev. 17:10)

When I was young, my parents would drive our family from Chicago to the mountains of Colorado for vacation. I am the fifth of six kids, so the family station wagon was crammed with people and luggage. In the car, I got antsy. I asked the question parents dread on road trips: “Are we there yet?” Of course, the answer was some version of “Not yet, and not anytime soon!”

Revelation 17 was written for a church asking a similar question, “How long, Lord?” They were eager to know how long they had to suffer under cruel and evil leaders. They wanted to know when they would be able to worship freely and be free from the threat of violent persecution.

John told them there wouldn’t be any shortage of wicked kings. In fact, five would reign and fall, followed by two more. But he told them to take heart, since the last one would remain “for only a little while.”

In the scope of eternity, human empires are mere blips. Kingdoms, empires, and countries will rise and fall. Sometimes we’ll feel like we’re stuck, that the page in our story just won’t turn, that we’ll suffer indefinitely. In these trials, Revelation reminds us that every reign is temporary. God, in his wisdom, elevates or allows certain leaders to rule, even if they aren’t the people we would have chosen.

Keep the faith; ungodly leaders don’t reign forever.

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®.