Sunday, November 6, 2016

Revelation 11:1-2

Revelation 11:1-2
And a reed similar to a staff was given to me while saying, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar and the ones who bow down to worship in it.  And cast away outwardly the courtyard – the one outside the temple – and do not measure it, because it was given to the Gentiles.  And they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

God tells John to get up and measure the temple that he sees in the vision.  Measurement is an important concept, especially in visions.  The only things that we measure in life are the things that are important to us.  We don’t spend time measuring things that we think are unimportant or inexhaustible.  The things that we measure are the things that are valuable, precious, or only occurring in specific instances.  What does this tell us?  The temple is important to God.  The altar – the place where the prayers of God’s people come before Him – is important to Him.

Why do you think that the temple is important to God?  What should this tell us about the place in our life for worship and communication with the Father?

Second Thought:

John is told to exclude the outer courtyard.  That is the courtyard that anyone can enter.  There were four courtyards in the temple.  The first courtyard was for everyone.  The second courtyard was as far as the women could enter.  The third courtyard was as far as the men could enter.  The innermost courtyard was reserved for the priests.  What is important about God telling John to exclude the court of the Gentiles?  If we measure what is important, then God is telling us that what is most important to Him are the people who are His.  God loves all people.  God desires all people to be His.  But God knows that this is not a reality.  While He may want us all, the truth is that we do not all want Him.  Therefore, God will measure those who want Him.  God will count with importance those who desire to be His.

Are you loved by God?  Are you desired by God?  How do you feel knowing that God pursues you and desires you?

Third Thought:

God explains why He excludes the court of the Gentiles.  God tells us that the Gentiles will trample upon the temple for a time.  As always, let’s look at the multiple layers for interpretation.  Naturally, there are those who will assert that this passage is speaking to the time prior to Christ’s return when rebellion against God spreads to a global scale.  I have little doubt that this will happen; but I do not believe that this is all to which the passage refers.  John no doubt remembers hearing about Antiochus Epiphanes IV, the first man to be called an antichrist.  He lived about 200 BC and was a Greek ruler who took over control of Israel and performed all kinds of blasphemous acts in the temple.  Even more to John’s memory would be when the Roman army punished Jerusalem and tore down the temple stone by stone.  What is God reminding us through John?  There will always be rebellion.  There will always be people who prefer to mock God, His ways, and His worship.  God loves them, certainly.  But He does not claim them because they choose to profane His ways.

Where have you experienced the rebellion of the world around you?  Where have you even felt rebellion within you?  What does it mean to you to your understanding of the future to be able to look backwards and see a pattern of rebellion throughout history?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 11:3-6
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