Many commentaries and books on Revelation will spend lots of time identifying the kings and nations represented in Revelation 17. By now you have probably noticed my reticence to plainly identify the specific characters the symbols and metaphors that this apocalypse represents. My reasons are many. For example, when we consider that the wicked woman riding on a beast represents “Babylon the great” a long defeated and crumbled empire, we begin to see the difficulty. We have a metaphor, a woman, for a symbol, Babylon, the wicked nation during Israel’s exile that points towards another nation, rule, or government. Revelation has many layers to it, and this requires a great deal of discussion that is very difficult for a space like this. What is clear is that many worldly powers ally themselves together in time and space against Christ and His people. History will be filled with kingdoms and nations that will seek to snuff out the Lord’s beloved. But “the Lamb will triumph over them.” (Luke 17:14) How this will play out from the perspective of John, and how it has already played out is controversial to parse and anyone who says otherwise isn’t being honest about the interpretative difficulties. As Christians, we must recognize that political and governing authorities, though empowered by God (see Romans 13:1-5), will more often than not work against us than with us. To that end, we must be a people resolute to follow the Lamb who will conquer in thick and thin. The good news is, even this courage and strength will provided by our King, to the praise of His glorious grace.