Friday, November 4, 2016

Revelation 10:1-7

Revelation 10:1-7
And I saw another strong angel having come down out of heaven having been clothed by a cloud.  And upon his head was an iris like a rainbow, his face was as the sun, his feet were as pillars of fire, and while having a small scroll which has been opened in his hand.  And He put his right foot upon the sea and the left upon the earth.  And he cried out in a great voice as a lion roars.  And when he cried out, the seven thunders spoke their voice.  And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write.  And I heard a voice out of heaven while saying, “Conceal that which the seven thunders spoke and do not write them.”  And the angel, who I saw having set upon the sea and upon the earth, raised his right hand into heaven and he promised with an oath in the one who lives into the eras of the eras – who created the heaven and the things in it, the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it – that a time will no longer be.  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel – whenever he should be about to sound out a trumpet – and the mystery of God did become finished, just as he brought good news to his slaves the prophets.  And the voice that I heard out of the heaven, again while speaking with me, said, “Depart.  Take the book that has been opened in the hand of the angel, the one having placed upon the sea and upon the earth.

Thoughts for Today


First Thought:

 As we look to this angel and the passage around it, remember that we haven’t yet had the seventh trumpet.  I’ll say more about that later.  I just wanted to remind people about it now.

As we look to the angel, the angel is described as though he is coming from God Himself. In fact, many people who read this passage believe that this angel is John’s description of Christ.  However, we should take this with a grain of salt, though, because John does not give the identity of this heavenly being:
  • Psalm 104:3 claims that God makes the clouds his chariot
  • Exodus 24:15ff tells us that God speaks to Moses from out of the cloud.
  • Ezekiel 1:28 claims that God’s radiance is like rainbows around him.
  • Matthew 17:2 describes Jesus’ face as like the sun.
  • Joel 3:16 describes the voice of God as a lion’s roar.

All of this being said, one of the core messages of this passage is that God has dominion over the world.  The angel appears as God appears.  The angel sets his feet upon the land and the earth, implying dominion over all of creation.  Nature speaks and replies when the angel speaks.  In fact, the comment about the thunders may well be a reference to Psalm 29.  What can we learn here?  God has dominion and extends it to those to whom He desires.

Where do you see evidence of God’s dominion?  Are there places in this world where you struggle to see God’s dominion?

Second Thought:

The part of the passage where John is told not to write the words has much in common with what we read in 2 Corinthians 12:4.  Why would John not be able to write the words?  There is a plethora of reasons.  It could be that John heard something that he simply could not put into human words.  Or, it could be that the message was a personal message for John and God does not want that message going to anyone else.  Perhaps it is because the message is not a message that the world – or even more importantly, the spiritually immature – cannot bear to hear.  Perhaps most of Christendom is simply incapable of understanding this portion of God’s plan.  In any case, the reality is that God has His motivations.  We might be frustrated by not knowing the message, but that’s evidence of our own humanity and our inability to place our trust in God.  We should be content with what He reveals to us.  We should be able to trust that in His infinite wisdom He knows what He is doing when He tells us some things and withholds other things.

Are you content with what God has revealed to you?  How easy is it for you to trust God’s will in your life?

Third Thought:

For my last point, I want to focus on a small expression.  When the angel is being described, the promise “that a time will no longer be” is uttered.  This phrase likely has two meanings.  The first meaning is the meaning that many people hear when they read these words.  People who take Revelation to be solely a prediction about the end times hear these words as a promise that Judgment Day will come.  In other words, the angel is crying to all creation and humanity that our time is limited.  However, I think there is a deeper meaning.  If we continue reading, we hear about the mystery of God and Good News to the people in bondage.  Especially for John and the other disciples who spent time with Jesus, the mystery of God is the grace that God grants to us through the forgiveness coming in the death of Jesus Christ.  In this light, I hear the expression “the time that will no longer be” is a description about how Jesus’ coming to earth has literally changed time.  Prior to Jesus stepping foot upon the earth – and remember that in this passage the angel is spoken of as putting his feet upon creation – humanity lived in their sin.  But when Christ came, that time ceased to be.  We can now live free and forgiven of our sin.  Through the grace of God, we can supersede our sin.  The mystery of God is finished.  Salvation has come.  We live in a different age because Christ came, set foot upon creation, died, and extended forgiveness from the Father to us.

How do you live out this truth in your life?  Where do you rise up above your sin?  Where do you rely upon God to let you live better than your sinful humanity might otherwise indicate?


Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 10:8-11
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