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Look Up Child [9-4-22]

As we launch into this disruptive chapter, we need to remember two ways to read apocalyptic narrative:

PREDICTIVE - Using information to determine precisely what will happen in the future.

DESCRIPTIVE - Using information to gain a general understanding of something that will happen sometime in the future.

It's the difference between these exact things will happen in exactly this way and they will appear exactly as presented in these exact places in time and here is a general sense of what is going to take place sometime in the future.

Jesus warned against the predictive approach to reading apocalyptic literature. As he said in Matthew 24:36, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." We do well to keep this declaration in the back of our minds

whenever reading The Book of Revelation.

Here's why this is an essential principle of Biblical interpretation.

In the late 1960s, a guest preacher spoke at the Sunday evening service of a rather large church. Claiming to be grounded in the Bible, in his sermon, he declared that "God will never allow man to walk on the moon." Whoops. It's an amazing thing when Neil Armstrong collides with your Biblically based predictions. That's not the work we are about.

Let's begin with verses one through six:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golde