14.2 Revelation – What if its not about us?

What if its not about us?

As I was reading the section in Revelation 8, it made me ask the question, what if it is not about us?

Jesus has taken the scroll, sealed with seven seals, and, because He is worthy, He has opened the seals.  Because we are human, because we have been given dominion over the earth, we assume the document that He has unsealed must be about us.  But, what if it is not?  We are never told what words on on the page (although we know there is writing on both sides of the scroll).

What if this document is the deed to the New Heaven and New Earth?  What if, instead of dominion going to mankind, it has been given to Jesus?  What if He has the choice to start anew and simply leave the old in silence instead of going through the messy and painful work of redeeming and cleansing the old creation?

I can’t substantiate this, nor am I stating it as an argument contrary to some of the great biblical commentators, but it provides an interesting challenge to perspective.

If this is the case, however, then it is the aroma of prayers that rekindles us to the new order.  It is because of prayer that the angel reignites the world with the fire of the altar of God, claiming it in not just water and blood but in fire and spirit for the ruler of all, Jesus.

It is not our day, it is the Day of the Lord.  The fact that time and time again, our God chooses us is an amazing thought.  The fact that prayers matter given the fastness of the cosmos, is unfathomable.  The fact that a being as mighty and awesome as God would want to be in communion with such sinful and weak people, is truly a gift.

My Answers:

Silence in heaven for about half an hour

Unlike anything ever before.  Reverent and unprecedented silence in anticipation

The angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar and hurled it on the earth; then came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Joel: The day of the Lord is coming, it is close at handEx: The time (after preparation) for the people of Israel to meet with God at the foot of the mt
Num: To call the community together and for having the camps set out
Joshua: Sounding of a long blast when walls of Jericho came down
1 Thes: The Lord himself will come down in heaven and the dead will rise up

The day of the Lord has arrived.  Christ is going to return

Things do not continue exactly as they have been, there will be a point in time when it changes and the wrath held back is held back no longer

08.3 Revelation – Bound in Praise and Prayer

Bound in Praise and Prayer

There is an interesting question in our lesson today talking about praiseworthy things God has done for us recently.  It is interesting because it challenges us in our definition of praiseworthiness.

A beautiful sunset is definitely praiseworthy.  A miraculous healing.  Financial stability.  A repaired relationship.  Safety in the midst of a battle or accident.  All praiseworthy.

But how far down the list do we go and still give praise?

In my life recently, the adversity has come not in big attacks but in little ones.  The electrician who is not prompt in returning calls.  The dishwasher that quit working.  The upset stomach.  A technical glitch. A stain on a shirt. None of these are big things in themselves, but added together they take a toll.  You begin to feel like your life is fraying at the edges and you don’t know where it will stop.  You don’t feel like you are standing on solid ground.

It can seem silly to turn these things over to God – to pray to Him about a dishwasher pump.  But that is exactly what He wants us to do.  God is not just the God of big battles, He is the God who protects us in the daily skirmishes of life.  He is God over the universe and over every hair on your head.

My wife enjoys sewing and has made a number of quilts.  It is the image of the quilt that brought this together for me.  Like life, a quilt is made up of many small pieces, all fitting together, all stitched and joined together with threads.  A quilt may or may not have a big central design but they do all have something in common, a binding.  The binding of a quilt is what goes around the outside edge.  It is what holds the pieces and layers all together and prevents it from fraying and tearing and falling apart.  It is seldom beautiful or decorative, but it is critical.  It is also normally sewn on by hand with great work and time and attention to detail.

This week I’m reminded to praise God for His handwork in the binding of the quilt of life He has given me.

My Answers:

Wisdom and Power, He changes times and seasons, He deposes kings and raises up others, He gives wisdom to the wise, knowledge to the discerning, reveals deep and hidden things, knows what lies in darkness, light dwells in Him, God of my ancestors.  (given me wisdom and power, made known to me what we asked of you, made known to us the dream of the king)

He is seeing me through a time of adversity where many things in my life seemed under attack and fraying at the edges.

(see v.28 – all to God) God knows and controls all about all kingdoms of the earth (past present future), He allows them power and deposes them.  His kingdom will rule over all others, crushing them and bringing them to an end and then enduring forever

I am assured that I am part of that kingdom by the seal of the Holy Spirit in my soul