While I have been studying and teaching the book of Revelation a world wide pandemic is being discussed in the media. Revelation portrays such events. In Revelation 6:8 we read, “And I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green like a corpse. And Death was the name of its rider, who was followed around by the Grave. They were given authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword an famine and disease and wild animals.”
The implication is that God allows such things to happen on the earth. They are meant to make us insecure and vulnerable, remind of our need for God, leading to repentance.
The coronavirus could be an example of God allowing an extraordinary event in the world, to be a sober reminder that we are not in charge. In Revelation, heaven declares the sovereignty of God over nature. “You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Rev. 4:11).
The folks over at Breakpoint remind us of Chuck Colson’s favorite Kuyper-ism quote: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!'” It is good for us to be reminded that Jesus is in control, even in the midst of a crisis.
But how does world-wide disease play out in history with all the suffering that has to be endured. N. T. Wright has been helpful for me in gaining an over view of the suffering depicted in Revelation and God’s purposes for a new heaven and earth. He writes, “Revelation is…….a cosmic version of the tough pastoral struggle over the deeply wounded soul. The soul of the world is aware of immediate problems and pains; but unless we look deeper, to the ancient patterns of conquest violence, oppression, and death itself we shall not begin to understand what needs to be done if the world is to be healed, really healed rather than merely patched together for a few more years.”
Revelation pull the curtain open so that we can see the impact the spiritual realm is having on earth. Revelation is like a drama unfolding before us as follower of the Lamb, who is Lord of history. We see God at work ultimately bringing our world to a final conclusion, in making all thing new. From the throne God says, “I am making everything new!”
My study of Revelation and the fragile condition of life among us, has produced several resolves in my heart, for the days ahead. I encourage each reader of this blog to join me.
First, I surrender totally to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is Lord. “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun the reign” (Rev 11:17). I choose the follow the Lamb.
Secondly, I am aware that there is a mighty battle raging between the lamb and Satan. Satan knows that his time is short and he is full of fury. (Rev 12:13). I put myself under the Lordship of Jesus to be protected from the evil one
Thirdly, I am so thankful to know that in the end, the kingdom of God will be established on the earth. (Rev 11:15) I pray daily for his kingdom to come.
Finally, I sincerely ask God for strength and grace to endure whatever suffering might occur for those who follow the Lamb in the days to come.