The Eighth Day
Powerful, Holy God, I stand before You as my Judge and Lord. Cleanse and renew me as I come before You now.
Read REVELATION 21:1-8
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth” (Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God). God’s Word is infinitely powerful!
Our eight verses today are critical. They are a summary of all that has gone before, but also a preview (a movie trailer?) of what lies ahead. Our section has seven clues about God’s new heaven and earth, about the eighth day awaiting us. Some good sleuthing will find all seven spelled out in 21:9–22:21. The bride will live within hugging distance of her groom (2,3); everything will become new, based on God’s certain Word and eternal purpose (4-6a). The invitation list follows (6b-8)! Everything is there.
African weddings can be rather chaotic occasions. Limiting the invitation list is hard, so marginal relatives and total strangers show up (partly for the free meal). Sometimes the new couple goes into great debt to put on their wedding, debt they carry well into their marriage. By contrast, the invitation list in Revelation is very clear! We may divide the human family in all kinds of ways, based on race or gender or income, but God recognizes only one distinction: those who will be at his Son’s wedding, and those who will not.
Whereas the Father and the Son are mentioned repeatedly in chs. 21 and 22, the Spirit is mentioned only twice. In 21:9,10 he introduces John to the bride, and in 22:16,17 he longs, with the bride, for the coming of the groom. The Spirit is the divine Matchmaker. Each of the four main parts of chs. 21 and 22 describes those who say, “I choose to live my life without you, God,” and God honors that choice forever. Hell is his ultimate compliment to human freedom.
How do you feel about the destiny of the lost (8)? Is that a motivator for your witness, or prayer? Pray for anyone close to you who doesn’t know Christ.
Lord God, I’m so moved by Your desire to have me with You forever. Please strengthen my desire so that I wish the same for others, also.