Father, give me sight to see my sins, grace to confess them, the will to forsake them, and the wisdom to learn from them.
Read REVELATION 21:9–27
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.
“Immortal, invisible, God only wise, / in light inaccessible hid from our eyes” (W. C. Smith, 1824–1908). This hymn says it all.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9, NLT). That is why we need John’s apocalypse. Only through its imagery can we encounter what we cannot see or hear and which our minds cannot contain. Here, despite inadequate human language, John tries to share heaven. All is perfection, all measurements multiples of 3 and 12, the perfect sacred numbers (lost in those boring translations which convert them to the metric system!). Heaven gleams with the brightest, shiniest, most colorful things of John’s ancient world. Heaven sparkles with crystal, gold, glass, sapphire and pearl, beautiful beyond imagining. Mere words fail. Here all is light. God is unbearable, glorious light. God’s presence banishes night and its terrors and makes all other light irrelevant.
Then we come to what is to me the greatest wonder of a book I have loved since childhood: “The nations will walk by its light” (24); the “kings of the earth” (24) enter the city, bringing the good and great things of their own cultures and peoples. Who are these kings and nations? In earlier visions, the nations and their debauched kings were persecuting the people of God, drinking “the maddening wine” of Babylon (Rev. 18:3). That some will turn is a great wonder, an immense mystery long foretold. “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isa. 60:3). My heart struggles to grasp it. Nations and kings, the world once opposed to God and seemingly outside of God’s blessing, are now redeemed. Neither Scripture nor history record the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy. It can only lie before us in an unimagined and glorious future.
Now that this study of Revelation is almost over, how do you feel about this book of the Bible? Has your view changed?
God, thank You that You still have wonders awaiting me for which my heart longs, amazing things my mind has not yet grasped.
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