Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Let's get this story straight. This is not the story of God and Magog. This is not the story of a world in rebellion against God, or a story of a great serpent who deceives and ends up in like a fire. That's not the story of God. JOHN tells us what this story is about. Right in the title of this book. This is a Apocalypse, a revelation of Jesus Christ, the story is about him. And so we must make every effort to hold to the plot, as we encounter thick mysteries that are found in books like revelation, because sometimes it's hard to stay with the plot. Sometimes we can get the story wrong, when we see injustice in the world when things are not as they should be. When we experience pain at the hands of others, we want retribution. We want the perpetrators to pay, we want them to suffer in fact, and we want a red hot lake of fire. And if we're not careful, we will miss read this story. And we will load passages like this. With a doctrinal meaning that goes far beyond anything these few sentences can fully bear. If we hold on to a God, who is primarily judge, who is retributive who kills and torments his enemies, we will quickly latch on to an obscure passage like this, like the one we've just read in Revelation 20 today, a passage that is mysterious, it's cryptic, it's allegorical, a passage that many of the most learned scholars have struggled to make sense of. And we take that passage and we say, See, God hates his enemies. God is retributive he is white hot with rage towards sinners. See, it's right there in black and white. And if we're not careful, what we're seeing in black and white will look a lot more like us than it does God. The god that is revealed in Jesus. When the church fathers were compiling the books that would be included in the New Testament, there was heated debate about whether revelation should even be included. The book was finally permitted, but it was allowed under the concession that it would not be used to formulate doctrine. They did this because shortly after the book was written, many felt that the cipher or the interpretive key to the book was no longer known. So no one fully comprehended the teaching of the book, it was a mystery, a mystery that had great force and great value to the church, but with its inclusion was a caution.
And so we approach this book with a reverent caution, with open hands, listening and humble hearts, we come to listen to and for the voice of Jesus. He is the revelation this book ascribes to point us to. So let us be wary of anyone who claims to know everything about the Bible, who approaches the Bible as a series of mathematical problems to be mastered, who has all the charts and all the answers. That's not how the Bible behaves. And Paul, well, Paul calls himself a servant of Christ, and a steward of the mysteries of God. He didn't say the doctrines of God, or the stewards to all the end time schemes. know he said, I'm a servant of Christ, and a steward of the mysteries of God. We are invited to join Paul, in the mysteries of God, in an experience with God, that goes beyond our ability to fully comprehend or master, even a mystical encounter with God, the God of creation, to stand in our in worship, the one who made the sea and the stars.
This God has spoken. And sometimes the things that he communicates to his prophets are more clearly understood than the ones we read in Revelation today. We read some of those thoughts today in Psalm 145. Here we see the David was growing to see that God was different than most people in religion saw him. most religions viewed their gods as tribal deities. A God who was for us but against them, a God who would bless us, but Kill them. But God had revealed to David, something else, something more worthy of the true character of God. So in verse 8 and 9, we hear David say these words, the Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. Not just us. He showers His compassion on all his creation. Wonderful. This isn't the only time this refrain shows up in the Old Testament. Now we hear the prophets repeat this again and again. In his most famous occurrences in the book of Jonah, this was the truth about God that was present and emerging in Moses and the prophets in this truth that God is merciful and compassionate, filled with unfailing love and goodness to everyone. That God showers compassion on all his creation.
This God was revealed in the flesh. When Christ our Lord came and dwelt among us. Jesus is the apocalypse. Jesus is the unveiling of God. He is the plot in the point of the story. And he's the one we look to to guide us as we make our way through the Scriptures. Be they plain or perplexing. Jesus is our Rabbi. As we walk with Him, and allow him to guide us through His story, like the men on the road to Emmaus our hearts, we begin to burn within us as we experienced his teaching, as we encounter his mysteries, and his life, and that life will be far better and more beautiful than we had ever hoped for or imagined. In the prayer of my own heart today is that I will that I will hold on to the plot as I follow the rabbi that I'll hear his voice and that I'll know his joy. That's the prayer that I have for my family, for my wife and my daughters and my son and that's the pair that I have for you. Maybe so
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