DREAMING JOHN’S DREAM
God of the future, in these last chapters of Your Word, open my minds to see what John saw, as I press on to Your eternity.
Read REVELATION 19:1–10
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The imagination of a people is stunted by the influences of an acquisitive, competitive, materialistic society… such stunting blocks a culture’s spiritual potential and creates a religionless public” (Walter Brueggemann).
The purpose of apocalyptic writing is to use vivid imagery to impress great truths on our minds, truths far beyond the power of ordinary words. First, however, we must open our hearts to it. We must let this amazing imagery lift us beyond our doubts, beyond life’s confusion, beyond suffering, beyond the reach of evil. We fill our nostrils with the stench of the fiery destruction of all godless structures, in whatever age. Here in one immense conflagration burns the debauched and godless empire persecuting Christians of John’s own era; here burn Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s dictatorship, the Spanish Inquisition and their modern counterparts which oppress and abuse. Here also burn all unjust commercial and financial structures which seduce and exploit, all religious and secular organizations which mislead and usurp that loyalty due to God alone, and finally here burns the last kingdom with its violence and debauchery. The smoke of their absolute destruction “goes up for ever and ever” (3).
As images tumble over images, let us dream John’s dream. We see the mysterious inhabitants of heaven worshipping God. We hear the voice reverberating through heaven, calling all of us who fear God (5), we who belong to and serve him, to join in his praise. Again we hear the deafening roar of the unnumbered crowds, like the rush of water, like unending thunder. In that immense ocean of sound, do I hear my own voice? This is the great feast in heaven to which all of us are invited (Matt. 22:1–14), the wedding feast of the Lamb, of Jesus united permanently with his redeemed people. We must be there! But we cannot come by our own merits. God calls us, “the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind” (Luke 14:21, KJV) to come to his feast, to come reclothed and renewed, made whole again through the shed blood of Jesus.
How has your interest in worshiping God increased or decreased in the last year? Was it affected by studying Revelation?
God, You call me to Your great feast in heaven. Gladly I answer “yes” through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord.
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