Day 88: We cannot even Imagine

December 17, 2017

Micah 5:1-7:20

Revelation 7:1-17

Psalm 135:1-21

Proverbs 30:5-6

 

Every time I go to read Revelation I think to myself, "This is it! This is the time I'm going to understand!" But every time I read and I'm so confused and upset that I didn't understand again. 

 

This had to be how people felt before Jesus came. The prophecies about Jesus were clear but they also weren't...they weren't specific! There was a lot of room for interpretation and so people got their own picture in their head about how things would be. So many people didn't recognize Jesus because they expected things to play out as they had imagined. But what they needed to understand was the Spirit of the prophecy. A lot of what was written were metaphors and a lot of what was written was pointing to things even beyond Jesus's death and resurrection...pointing to things that even today have not yet happened. 

 

So when I read Revelation I pray that though I know I cannot grasp the literal story it is foretelling, but the Spirit of it. And I think one big chunk of what I should cling to is in Revelation chapter 7: "I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robs and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'"

 

That video image of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue worshipping Jesus together is something to hope for. I can not wait for that day. I may not understand so much of what Revelation says: but I can know that worshipping Jesus is central to how I spend my eternal life and therefore I want it to be central to how I spend my earthly life. To be a worshipper in this crowd, to see Jesus face-to-face, is something to hope for, something to look forward to, just as the Messiah was something for the Israelites to look forward to. We wait for Jesus as they waited for the Messiah, one and the same. 

 

The prophets had difficult to understand messages as well with only semblances of things to grasp and hope for. They knew clearly that they needed a Savior and that God would send one and that was what they hoped and waited for. And it was not a flimsy thing to grasp on to by any means, it could only be made flimsy by flimsy faith.

 

Micah 7:18-20

"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?

You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sings underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 

You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago."

 

They knew God was faithful to His promises...how He would fulfill them I'm sure they could not have ever imagined God coming down in human baby form only to grow up and die a horrific death for us and then DEFY death by raising back to life. There's no way they could have imagined that was God's plan, just as I cannot imagine God's plan now. 

 

O come O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

 

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

 

O come Thou Dayspring come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight

 

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

 

O come Thou Wisdom from on high
And order all things far and nigh
To us the path of knowledge show
And cause us in her ways to go

 

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

 

O come Desire of nations bind
All peoples in one heart and mind
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease
Fill the whole world with heaven's peace

 

"O come O come Emmanuel" by Henry Sloane Coffin and John Mason Neale

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