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Posts Tagged ‘beast’

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

I almost feel like Dorothy trying to navigate her way through the Land of Oz. But where she chanted lions and tigers and bears; we are told to beware of dragons, beasts, and 666. Dorothy and her friends didn’t know what to expect and honestly, either do we.

Revelation 13:11-12a, 18b
Then I [John] saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, . . . Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Whether these are mythical dragons or early man’s interpretation of dinosaurs, they represent something bigger than we are, stronger, fearsome, and non-human. Let’s just take a Sauropoda or Brontosaurus, an average human next to that one is about as tall as toe to mid-calf of one leg of the dinosaur. That would be like a man next to a mouse, a very small mouse. What do we have in common? What do we share? And if, today, we actually encountered a malevolent creature of that size, wouldn’t we fear it?

According to Revelation, that’s not all, we also have multi-headed beasts and mysterious numbers to fear, or just one number, really, that mysterious 666 which has become synonymous with evil, the devil, and other negative connotations. It’s universally accepted as sinister except for those who relish in sympathizing with such symbolism such as the Aryan Brotherhood, the Growing in Grace Church of Miami who follow self-proclaimed “christ-figure” Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, the Cult of Saturn, and many more.

I remember my first exposure to all of the prophetic tumult in the 1970’s about the end times, 666, the mark of the beast, and so on. I was terrified as more and more people seemed to believe in it and write about it. For many, the last days were identified by many signs like the modern day happenings in Israel, the European Union, and the demise of paper money for e-cash. And of course, more recently, the pathetic predictions of charlatans such as Howard Camping whose rapture was to have happened last year on May 21st.

Just as there are good witches and evil witches in Oz, so do we have the spectrum here in “Kansas.” Good and evil are ever before us with the narrow good road generally appearing as the least likely way to travel.

Wisdom calls out in the market place [Proverbs 1:20] and yet we do not hear her. We are running to and fro looking for signs and wonders and yet do not see the most obvious sign of all: our own biases.

The poor, the orphan, the widow, the single mom, and the homeless are fighting the dragon and beasts every day as well as those humans who behave as though 666 is their motto, withholding what they have out of fear losing it all. Oh God, is that my number after all? Forgive me.

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