and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.
As verse 1 says, this is an amazing image of God’s wrath about to be poured out from heaven. After the fearsome images of the dragon and beasts, something even more fearsome is about to unleash wrath on the world and entire universe – seven plague-carrying angels! No one could enter the sanctuary (verse 8) until God’s wrath had been completely unleashed and run its course.
What hope is there in the face of such a powerful force? On the face of it, none!
But while the whole of mankind is going to be judged, believers have the assurance that we have been saved from God’s wrath by our Saviour Jesus (Romans 5:9). He took our judgement and bore the wrath that was intended for us. The Apostle Paul gives us this assurance in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, ‘For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ’. So, all the nations, i.e. all people past, present and future, will come to worship Him because of His awesome power.
Of course, we must not fall into the trap of thinking that believers will not face hardship. When God’s final wrath is poured it will be a terrible time for believers and non-believers living in the world. But as believers we look forward to heaven and earth being re-united and the relationship between mankind and God being fully restored.
As I am sitting in front of my laptop wrestling with this passage, I’m thinking what a privilege we have that our God has told us the whole history of the created order in scripture. He told us how He created the universe out of nothing, just by speaking. We see how we fell when we tried to usurp God; but how He keeps giving us chance after chance to repent. And we see how He took our judgement on Himself, how He is going to judge the world, and finally how He is going to restore us back into a perfect and eternal relationship with our Father, His Son and His Holy Spirit. In the end, despite the difficult times, we – believers and adopted children – win!
After grappling with the dragon and beasts this week, I’ve got a spring in my step (because I know the future) and I can look forward to closing out the week and enjoying the weekend!
Prayer: Lord, thank you that Jesus has borne the wrath that I deserve. Thank you that I don’t have to fear the consequences of Your wrath and that I have an amazing eternity to look forward to; being in Your company, praising You with fellow believers and enjoying the restored earth and universe. Amen