Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 26, 2021

“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, … but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me”

Today’s devotion comes from Revelation 13:11-18.

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth;  and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.  He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.  And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.  He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.  And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.  And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom.  Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man;  and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”  Revelation 13:11-18.


“Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast …”, so we will try.  But, as stated later in this devotion, whether or not we calculate correctly and understand the mystery of the beast and the number 666, our hope is not in our wisdom, our hope is in God. 

The number of man could be six based on the fact that God created man on the sixth day.  Genesis 1:26-31.

Nebuchadnezzar, a man (a 6, so to speak) and who was the king of Babylon, made an golden image that was 6 cubits in height and 6 cubits in width and commanded all people to worship it or else be killed by fire.  

“Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits;  he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. …  Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.  But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”   Daniel 3:1 and 4-6.

These 3 sixes could combine to make 666, the number of the beast. Or, there could be a better way to calculate the number of the beast. But, in any event, the following Scriptures that we encounter pursuant to our calculation help our understanding overall.

Later, God humbled Nebuchadnezzar causing him to be like a beast.  

“All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king.  Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon.  The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’  While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared:  sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field.  You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’  Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled;  and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?
’” Daniel 4:28-35.

But, there is hope!

The hope is not in the wisdom of man in understanding mysteries such as the meaning of 666 or in man regaining reason or otherwise.

The hope is in God.  “He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth”.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.


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