Today’s Reading: Revelation 16 – 18
Judgment is not an easy topic to read about, nor is it very inspiring for me. As I read through these chapters of Revelation, I look for ways to apply it to my life today.
The graphic descriptions of the harsh judgment that will be poured out on the earth and on those who have the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue make me cringe. God’s Temple, His Tabernacle, has been thrown wide open. He is no longer holding back His judgment because He is a just God and a Holy God (Rev. 15:5; 16:5).
And I heard a voice from the altar, saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just.” – Revelation 16:7
The world tries to entice us with all it has to offer. Society tries to pull us into a new concept of what is socially acceptable and moral. The enemy tries to tempt us to leave our life of righteous living to experience “the fun life”. But if we choose to experience all this world is bribing us with, if we choose to share in all it has to offer, we will also share in the judgment that will come down on the earth.
One of the seven angels who had poured the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.” – Rev. 17:1-2
This world tries its best to appear beautiful, like the woman described in the next verse: The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality (17:4). But in reality it is grotesque and cruel and uncaring. Those who drink of her passionate immorality and those who have committed adultery with her will fall with her.
But there is a song coming from heaven – a song calling all to flee from the sins of this world and the glory of its riches:
“Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.
For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds.
Do to her as she has done to others.
Double her penalty for all her evil deeds.
She brewed a cup of terror for others, so brew twice as much for her.
She glorified herself and lived in luxury, so match it now with torment and sorrow.
She boasted in her heart, ‘I am queen on my throne.
I am no helpless widow, and I have no reason to mourn.’
Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day – death and mourning and famine.
She will be completely consumed by fire, for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.” – Rev. 18:4-8
The world with all of its riches tries to make itself appear so pleasing and wonderful, but it is evil and cares nothing for those who get trapped by its pleasures. The world invites us to sit at its banquet tables but there is another banquet table worth turning down the indulgences of the world for. I long to sit at the wedding feast of the Lamb and hear a voice from the throne say,
“Praise our God, all his servants, all who fear him, from the least to the greatest.”
Then I heard again what sounded like a shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:
“Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.
She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. – Rev. 19:5-8
Lord, thank you for showing us the beauty of ALL you have to offer us. The treasures of this world pale in comparison to YOU. As we wrap up our Christmas celebrations and begin thinking of the New Year, Lord show us what you have next for us. Reveal to us the good deeds you want to accomplish through us and ignite a fire in us that draws others TO you and away from the world. Praise the Lord, for the Lord our God reigns. Let us experience His joy and rejoice in all He has done for us, giving honor to the Lamb of God! Amen.