Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Revelation 11:15-19

Revelation 11:15-19
And the seventh angel sounded a trumpet and there became great voices in heaven while saying, “The kingdom of the world became of our Lord and of his Christ.  And he will rule into the eras of the eras.”  And the twenty-four elders – the ones in the presence of God who were sitting upon their thrones – fell upon their faces and bowed down to worship God.  while saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God the Almighty, the one who is and the one who was.  Because you have taken your great power and you reigned. And the nations provoked to anger, and your anger came.  And the time came to judge the dead.  And the time came to give the payment to your slaves the prophets, the holy ones, the ones who are afraid of your name, the small ones, the great ones.  And the time came to corrupt the ones who corrupted the earth.  And the temple of God – the one in heaven – was opened and the ark of his covenant was seen in the temple.  And there became lightning, voices, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

We finally get the seventh trumpet!  This truly brings us to the completion of the seals and trumpets that we have been working our way through for the last several chapters.  Don’t be surprised that this chapter ends in the worship of God!  This is the culminating act for our life.  Of course, we can understand this on an eternal level.  Eternity will center upon our worship of God and His enduring love for His creation.  But as has been my habit, we look at this from a contemporary understanding as well.  Isn’t the worship of God the goal of all of our life – or shouldn’t it be?  Everything I do in this life should lead me and the people around me into the worship of God.  That is the natural conclusion of everything.

How do your daily habits lead you into the worship of God on a regular basis?  Do you have habits or circumstances that lead you away from worship?

Second Thought:

At the end of this passage, we get an unexpected reference.  John tells us that the temple is opened and the Ark of His Covenant is revealed to all.  Let’s remember the perspective of the Old Testament for a moment.  Remember that the Ark went into the Holy of Holies.  This was a place that only the high priest would visit once a year.  However, also remember that when Jesus dies on the cross, the curtain in the temple tore.  Now, when we get to John’s portrayal of the temple and its eternal worship, we see that the Ark is revealed to all.  This is a wonderful symbolic representation of the priesthood of all believers.  In eternity with God, we will all have access to God.  There will be no high priest who is closest to God.  God will dwell with all of His people.

Do you believe in the priesthood of all believers, or do you believe in a hierarchy where some people are greater than others?  How do the actions of your life portray your beliefs in this area?

Third Thought:

Piggybacking onto this thought is a deeper thought about God’s accessibility.  Not only will all of God’s people have access to the innermost worship, God wants us to all be there.  He is completely revealed.  We are all included.  I believe what John is doing is giving the readers a reminder of how the eternal will differ from our present reality.  It is easy to feel like God is distant or far off.  It is easy to feel as though God doesn’t have a hand in our daily life.  It is easy to feel like God doesn’t care about our day-to-day details.  It is easy to feel like God may not know about our worries or concerns.  But John is trying to remind us that He is truly accessible.  He is open to us all.  There is no hidden area to God and His love.  There is no level beyond which we cannot have access.  He desires to dwell with us.  In fact, He desires to dwell in us as we dwell with Him!

How do you have access to God?  How do you portray this access to God to the world around you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 12:1-2
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