Scripture: The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the:
- Works of their hands, nor give up;
- Worshipping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood (which cannot see or hear or walk), nor did they
- Repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Rev 9:20-21)
Observation: Blunt, specific language is found right here. Then how is it that I squirm and shift under these words trying to find a way out of conviction?
Analysis: In the previous couple of chapters I have been numbed by the relating of all the trumpets, horns, shouting, horses and all that stuff. Reading about it and what starts the Terrible Day of the Lamb makes me anesthetized to any imagination of what reality will look like.
I guess that is why Tim LaHaye sells a lot of books concerning the End of Days.
Here are a couple of verses I can relate to, though. Why? Because I picked up, not on the words of demons, idols, murders, sex, or sorceries, but on the word REPENT.
There are points in my life where I use the word REPENT almost flippantly, tossing it at the end of an apology, sort of saying “I really am sorry, so much so I REPENT.”
This section of Rev 9 is relating about folks who did not REPENT and fell victim to the Angels appointed by the Lamb to begin expending wrath on the earth.
Here is what I think is really the shame in this: These folks mentioned in vs. 20:21 ignored the recognition that they may be dabbling in these same recognizable conditions: demons, idols, murders, sex, or sorceries, and the like. They weren’t fooled—these things were brazenly ignored so that the man in the mirror could be satisfied.
I realize that I can be brazen and ignore this stuff when I observe my face in the mirror. I can claim “Grace, O God, Grace…” without any (or maybe a small, if it isn’t too difficult) intention of repenting.
This is what I am more apt to do: Review the people around me and specifically preach “Repent, you vile and ignorant people”, giving mucho grace to moi, but condemnation a plenty to others—or just conceding “the way of the world” and tromping off in the sunset…
Prayer: Lord, may this change in me, thoroughly and immediately. Make me look deeply into myself, being candid and honest but kind and gentle with candor to others. I want to point the way to the Lamb, knowing He is the Atonement for my sin, but not forgetting eventually You are the Lamb who is also the Lion. AMEN.