Clearly, I have done something to offend the staff to be allocated Revelation 9 and 10 to write blogs on. When you read them you will see what I mean!
There are angels, trumpets, fallen stars, bottomless pits, fire and smoke, locusts and scorpions. It is a dramatic scene of battles and plagues. What does it all mean? I’m not sure but here two thoughts anyway!
Firstly, one of my favourite verses in Scripture is Deuteronomy 29:29 which says ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever’. Some things are beyond finding out and I suspect that even people who are convinced they know exactly what these passages mean will one day find out that they didn’t understand them properly. Some things are beyond finding out this side of eternity.
That said, God has given us Bible scholars who have spent significant time and effort in the Scripture. They have then written down their work in commentaries so those of us who don’t understand a particular portion of Scripture can read a commentary on it. Why not consider getting one on Revelation to help you in your understanding of this section of the Bible? I’m sure the staff could recommend one!
Secondly, I was reminded that mankind does not change its behavior. Revelation 9 is a picture of the destruction caused by sin and sinful beings living in rebellion against God. It is a horrific picture! Yet, despite all the suffering, all the destruction and even the meting out of punishment that we read about, the chapter closes with these words: ‘The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshipping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immortality or their thefts’ (verse 20). Despite seeing and experiencing the consequences of sin, mankind did not repent and does not change its ways! Mankind at its heart is sinful and rebellious, and continues in it, despite the horrific consequences.
Without a Saviour, without a Lamb, without the Lion of Judah, without the only One who is able to open the scroll and break its seals (Revelation 5:3), we would all be heading to an eternity without God. We might even see the consequences of our sin and yet still not change our ways. We chose to rather worship things that ‘cannot see or hear’ rather than the true and living God. Praise God, that because of Jesus, our story will not end with Revelation 9 and the inevitable and hopeless consequence of sin!
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for our constant wandering from You and Your Word. We do choose to worship money, possessions, work, relationships, family and many other things rather than worshipping You, the true and living God. Please forgive us, not because of what we have done, but because of the completed work of the Lamb of God. AMEN.