Journal Rev 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice: “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true—how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Rev 6:9-10


Observation:  Have I ever imagined: “Someday you will get yours…”?


Analysis: One function of journaling is to put down in writing things that strike and question in my soul; stuff that makes me go, “huh?  What is that about?”  I may not be able to reason an answer out immediately, but it does cause me to wonder and meditate.


Why did the Spirit cause John to see the souls under the altar?  Souls: a multiple, not a single.  How many souls?  Scripture doesn’t say.  Among other things, they cry out for an answer to how long will it take to be avenged (or “even the score”)?


Why is it ok to call out to be avenged then when that is not what Jesus instructed now: “…for if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses…” (Matt 6:14-15; see also Matt 18)? So, forgiving and calling out to be avenged seems to be a dichotomy, a contradiction.


At the moment, I don’t know the answer.  It seems that I must shift perception gears in a way that recognizes that I have my daily character instruction (“…forgive, as the Father forgives…”) and something in the future that releases me to ask about being avenged.


What popped in my mind is the word, Malice.  What would ever release me to exhibit godly malice?  Could I have malice and still be godly on the earth?  No, absolutely no.  Malice would feed my character, my sinful inner man to think that I am due some sort of “fairness.”  On earth (and my character battle), this could mean “I want what I want, and I am due for it.  Being blocked from my due calls for vengeance.”


How does this correspond with a heavenly desire for vengeance?  I truly don’t know.  And that is a question to be answered by the Spirit in the future—I cannot imagine it.


At this point in my life, I work at forgiveness without holding malice; honoring Jesus in everything I do without hiding a desire for vengeance.  This means that the

attitude of, “I forgive but I don’t forget…” must be waged war against.  Recommendation: Don’t use Rev 6:14-15 to support this attitude…

By the way, on the subject of fairness: Being condemned to the Wrath of God is being fair—it is what I deserve. Encountering Grace and Mercy is generosity from God.  God is not being fair when He saves us.


Prayer: Thank you, Lord.  I don’t get this section of scripture, at least I cannot imagine how it would apply.  That’s ok, I will tack that on the list of things to seek your Face about.

Please ease the hearts of those around Darryl.  AMEN.