Saturday, November 19, 2016

Revelation 14:6-13

Revelation 14:6-13
And I saw another angel while flying in midair while having eternal good news to bring upon the ones who sit upon the earth and upon all nations, tribes, tongues, and people while saying in a great voice, “Fear God and give glory to him since the hour of his judgment came.  And bow down to worship the one who made heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.  And another angel, a second one, followed while saying, “It fell!  Babylon the Great – who has given a drink of her wine of strong passion for fornication to all the nations – fell.  And another angel, a third one, followed them while saying in a great voice, “If someone bows down to worship the beast and his image and he takes a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand he also will drink out of God’s wine of strong passion – the one that has been mixed to full strength in the cup of his wrath – he will also be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of a holy angel and in the presence of the lamb.  And the smoke of his torment goes up into the era of eras.  And the ones who bow down to worship the beast and his image and take the mark of his name do not have a place of rest day and night.  Here is the patient endurance of the holy ones, the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faithfulness of Jesus.  And I heard a voice out of heaven while saying, “Write!  Blessed are the dead, the ones who die in the Lord from now on.”  “Yes,” the Spirit says, “In order that they will be soothed out of their labors.  For their work follows with them.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

In this passage we meet three more angels, each one with a special message to the world.  The first angel has a three-fold message.  First, notice that the angel gives an eternal message.  In other words, this is a message that is true for the whole world at all times.  What is that message?  The message starts with the fear of the Lord.  That’s not a surprise.  How many times in the Old Testament do we hear that the beginning of wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord?  We are to fear God, which means we are not just to get caught up in fear of His wrath and judgement but also to have awe for His power and wisdom.  The third part of this first angel’s message is that we are to worship our creator.  Again, this makes sense.  Our relationship with God should lead us to the worship of God.  The worship of God is our greatest fruit in this life.

Do you fear the Lord?  How does the fear of the Lord impact your thoughts and actions?  Do you worship your creator?  In what ways do you worship God?

Second Thought:

The second angel brings another message.  This message decries the fall of Babylon.  There is little doubt that this passage draws off of Isaiah 21:9 and Jeremiah 51:7-8.  What is the angel saying?  I think the angel is bringing us a strong comparison between the ideal human existence, spoken to us by the first angel, and the normal human existence.  Human beings are passionate individuals.  We lust after things that are not God.  We often drink our sin deeply before encountering rebuke and the need to change.  We can either fear God and worship Him or we can get drunk in the passion of the world and fall.  Those truly are our two choices.

Where are you likely to succumb to your sins?  Why are you tempted in these areas?

Third Thought:

The third angel drives home the comparison of the messages of the first two angels.  Those who fall down and worship the things of this world will fall.  These will not only fall into their sin, but they will fall into eternal torment.  Things will not go well for those who choose their passion over God.  Note that this passage contains a perfect passive verb in the Greek.  The cup of wrath has been mixed, mixed by God Himself!  Wrath and judgment will come at the hands of God to those who choose to worship someone or something other than our God and Creator.  However, this angel also brings a good message.  To those who endure patiently, God will give soothing rest.  God will consider blessed those who endure and stay faithful in the midst of the temptations of the world.

What do you think the wrath of God will be like?  What will it feel like?  Why is it a far better option to be considered among those who will experience soothing at the hands of God?  What do you think that soothing will be like?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 14:14-20
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