Journal Rev 15 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God (who lives for ever and ever). And the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and his power…” (Rev 15:7-8a)
“…and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?
For you alone are Holy, all nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Rev 15:3-4)
Observation: Worship God. Fear God. Be amazed at his Goodness. Be amazed at his Wrath. Just and True are ALL his ways.
Aren’t these difficult to wrap minds around when the passages seem to not have immediate application? But, I realize, that if I don’t determine to think hard about them, my understanding of the Gospel may get stunted—you know, “All scripture is profitable for instruction unto godliness.” (1 Tim
Analysis: What are the 4 living creatures? I am not sure, but they are powerful and resilient enough to handle open containers of God’s Wrath.
They are also talented enough to join the Heaven Choir and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb before the Throne.
I guess this looks like I am making fun of the Scriptures, and the answer would be “sort of.” Not making “fun” as in ridicule but attempting to bring joyful life to how I read and communicate. I tend to make my voice serious about the very serious Bible and I don’t want to until necessary.
How do I integrate that all of God’s characteristics are equal? John is describing the Fullness of God in Revelation: that He is fully Love, Grace, and Mercy, and fully Holy, Just, and Wrath—and all of these at the same time. Because I am a limited creature, the difficulty of comprehension lies with me, but because I cannot comprehend it doesn’t make it untrue.
They sing: “Great and amazing are your deeds, O God Almighty. You are Just and True. You alone are holy, and your righteousness shown in your acts are revealed, therefore all nations will come to you and worship you.”
And what is described next? Seven bowls full of the Wrath of God, prepared to be poured out on the world.
I candidly confess that this morning I don’t know what to do with this chapter of the scriptures. I can pull out what I comprehend, guess at what I can guess, apply what I can sift out of this stream of Living Water, and meditate on what is left.
That doesn’t mean that journaling this chapter isn’t valuable. I am going to look back on this at some time in the future and perhaps have more insight given by the Holy Spirit that wasn’t available today.
What can I do? Why not meditate on the Attributes of God to start and see where that goes…
Prayer: Lord God, Holy are you. Full of Grace and Mercy are your ways.
Open my eyes that I might see you more fully in my daily life.
Bring revival. AMEN.