Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

3 June 2021

Proverbs 19:26

Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
    is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

Rebellion against parents is an especially grievous offense in scriptures. Striking one’s father or mother is punishable by death. Rebellion against proper authority is wrong, but there something more involved in the rebellion against parents. Proverbs speaks of the sorrow, bitterness, and shame that parents of a foolish son experience. There is something sacrilegious in committing actual violence against one’s parents.

All the more then consider the offense against our heavenly Father. Earthly parents are themselves sinful and can exasperate their children so as to lead to violence. But our Father is righteous. Thus to rebel against him is to do violence against rightful and righteous authority. But more so it is to do violence against one with even closer connection than a parent – the one who created us and keeps watch over us. For we who belong to Christ, it is to rebel against the one who has redeemed us and loves us with a steadfast love.

How great indeed is this steadfast love of the Father. For it is while we were sinners that Christ died for us; it is while we were rebellious enemies that Christ reconciled us. How much more then now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life (cf Romans 5:6-11). How great is the patience of God who forgives all our sins, even the ones committed today! This is not an excuse to sin, but it is an excuse to daily be in awe of our Heavenly Father who loves us with a steadfast love!

 

Revelation 11

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”[a] If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

11 But after the three and a half days the breath[b] of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

 

The Seventh Trumpet

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
    the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
    and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
    and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
    and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
    both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.