Today’s readings.. (Job 33), (Zechariah 9), (Revelation 7,8,9)

As we pondered the symbolic language of our Lord Jesus in his final message – a revelation given through his beloved disciple John – we were struck by the many different ways God has ultimately punished and destroyed those who have no time for him – often after a long period of grace looking to see in them a change of heart.

There are two classes of people who suffer his punishment.  First, those who claim to worship him, but are insincere or false in their worship and service. It can be said that they try to have the best of both ‘worlds.’ Second, there are those who have no time for God at all – especially those who have convinced themselves there is no God, no creator – that all that exists is the result of an incredible series of ‘accidents’ over endless ages. 

There is, of course, a small third group, those who are faithful, but who suffer at the hands of others, some of them become martyrs and we read of them yesterday in Rev. 6 v.9

Through the ages God has brought plagues upon both classes of people – we remember the plagues in Egypt in the days of Moses.   The Egyptians surely had a memory of the blessings that the leadership of Joseph had brought to their nation!  But human memories of good things always fade away – or become taken for granted. Is not this the spirit in the world today?  

As we read ch.9 of Revelation with its’ ‘pictures’ of destruction and reflected on its probable application to particular events through the ages we came to the final 2 verses which say, “The rest of mankind … did not repent of the works of their hands … nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”   Any sense of repentance these days for disregarding God’s laws has now more or less vanished. These words are specially a warning to our generation.. 

We called to mind how Jesus read from the Isaiah scroll in the synagogue; he found the place where  it was written (Ch.61 v.1,2) that his work would be “to proclaim the year (time) of the LORD’s favour”  Then he stopped, but the next words of the scroll are “and the day of vengeance of our God” – and the world faces that ‘day’ now, for his return must be near.,   .

Finally,  the world has reached the predicted time (Matt. 24 v.14) when people of all nations can read God’s word and see its challenge to believe in God’s gospel – and its warnings of coming divine punishment on a godless world.  Tomorrow we will read of both the tragedy – and the triumph – that come with the opening of the final seal. .

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