Monday, August 27, 2012
Welcome to Day 239 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Jeremiah 52 is basically a big, “I told you so.” A review of the history of Jerusalem’s demise, ending on a hopeful note of how King Jehoiachin was treated kindly during the exile.
My heart kind of sank as I read about how they dismantled the temple and its articles of bronze, gold and silver. It was all carried off to Babylon.
19 “The basins, the firepans, the bowls, the pots, the lampstands, the spoons, and the cups, whatever was solid gold and whatever was solid silver, the captain of the guard took away. 20 The two pillars, one Sea, the twelve bronze bulls which were under it, and the carts, which King Solomon had made for the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure.”
Unlike most books of the Bible, Revelation contains its own title: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1). “Revelation” (Gr., apokalupsis) means “an uncovering,” “an unveiling,” or “a disclosure.” In the NT, this word describes the unveiling of spiritual truth (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 1:17; 3:3), the revealing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19), Christ’s incarnation (Luke 2:32), and His glorious appearing at His second coming (2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7). In all its uses, “revelation” refers to something or someone, once hidden, becoming visible. What this book reveals or unveils is Jesus Christ in glory. Truths about Him and His final victory, that the rest of Scripture merely allude to, become clearly visible through revelation about Jesus Christ (see Historical and Theological Themes). This revelation was given to Him by God the Father, and it was communicated to the Apostle John by an angel (1:1). www.gty.org
I may approach Revelation a bit differently since most people are unfamiliar with it and even a little apprehensive about this particular book, how to interpret it.
Revelation stresses that though it comes in symbolic form, it is understandable. It is “revelation,” disclosing rather than hiding truth (v. 1). It is for “his servants,” not a special elite (v. 1). God expects Christians to “keep what is written,” to profit spiritually (v. 3). A blessing encourages people to read and hear (v. 3). RSB
5 To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'”
10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Psalm 143:9, “Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. 10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. 11 Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake!”
Psalm 144:3, “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him? 4 Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.”
Usually when someone asks about the SOAP, I describe the “O” as “what jumped out at you?”
Today, clearly, it was “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.”
John is given a rare glimpse of the glorified Christ…
Keep in mind, he had been with Jesus post-crucifixion/resurrection. Remember in John 21? The disciples had been fishing all night and Jesus showed up on shore, gave them a miraculous catch, then, he cooked them breakfast…
But this is a different Christ that John is seeing, experiencing… 14 “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.” 17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid.”
This is some vision John is having, and it’s only getting started. Keep in mind, John was told by an angel to “write this down.” This vision is being given to Jesus, from the Father (v1) , and John is recording it as it is being revealed to Jesus from or by the Father!
Now, here’s the cool thing… a promise for all of us. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Blessed is he who reads…
and those who hear…
and keep those things which are written in it…
for the time is near.
So, if you read or listen AND keep these things, you will be blessed!
In the coming days, first, we will read God’s letter to each of the seven churches in Asia (v 11).
This should be quite an adventure, adding a much-needed shot in the arm to the judgment, doom and gloom of Isaiah and Jeremiah. (Although I attempted to find the mercy and restoration along the way, the heaviness of those books, day in and day out has been weighing in me, personally, to the point at which it was difficult for me to press through even reading them…)
It’s important to keep in mind as we make our way through the next 21 chapters of Revelation, that it all ends well, just as in Isaiah and Jeremiah.
God ultimately restores all things, even a new heaven and a new earth, and the dwelling of God is with men!
Lord give me wisdom, insight and understanding as I read Revelation and attempt to apply it to my life…