The reading for the advent devotional that I’m working through today was from Revelations. I read the first three verses and checked ten times to make sure I had the right passage. I opened my email to look at the daily emails that are paired with the reading to be sure it wasn’t a typo on the reading plan. It wasn’t. It was the correct passage. It was the correct passage for me to read this morning.
The first five passages are all about the giant beast. Before the book of Revelation goes on to describe the gruesomeness of the beast John even states “When I saw her I marveled greatly” The angel approaches John and questions him “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mysteries of the woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.” (I told you gruesome, this does not scream Christmas lights and mistletoe.)
My reading of the verse (and my general avoidance of reading Revelations or the news) revels something about my tendencies and maybe yours too. I marvel at all the crap. I see the destruction, I watch the news, I hear the statistics about the kids. Just this morning I watched a video where a mother spoke about losing her son in the Sandy Hook school shooting. The shooting where 1st graders were gunned down. Her son was 6 years old was murdered. The word murdered should not be used to describe the end of anyone but especially not a 6 year old boy.
Where does that leave us? Do we turn the TV and in internet off. Do we act like none of this destruction is happening right in front of us. I don’t think that’s possible. I may be able to turn the TV off and hop off of Facebook but I can’t ignore the ‘smaller’ things in life like my kid screaming all the way through grocery shopping. I can’t just ignore all the sin that pervades my life and the lives of my children. But I sure as shit don’t have to marvel at it. Everything from the Sandy Hook school shooting to my kid constantly lying do not require us marveling at it to know that this evil will be eradicated one day.
Gazing at all the crap in the world will not make it go away. Gazing and marveling at the King of kings and Lord of lords will create in us a love to stand by those who have been hurt by tragedy. Gazing and marveling at the Lord of lords will create a love in us that allows me to listen to my 2 year old scream for 30 minutes straight. Gazing and marveling at the King of kings will allow me to stand with those who’s sin is so pervasive. Those people may be our own children or they may be a more distant neighbor.
We can not defeat the beast but…
“They will make war on the Lamb.
The Lamb will conquer them for he is
LORD OF LORDS
KING OF KINGS
and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
Go check out Heidi’s study and reading plan!! There is still time to jump on the band wagon. ADVENT STUDY FROM HEIDI
2 thoughts on “Marveling: The Beast or The Lamb”
I too spent years avoiding Revelation. Then, someone peeled back the letters to the 7 churches for me and I saw a God who wanted more for His people. That made my heart more tender. Then, I started studying the Word to discover God as the Lover of my Soul and wouldn’t you know it, Revelation just kept coming up. Now i’m a fan. A friend recently said, “It’s like a conversation from a parent who has to tell you difficult stuff about the way the world is. There’s trial and it’s hard, but there’s a Savior and Hope.” Best descriotion I’ve ever heard.
Thank you for writing and reading and sharing!
I love that description. A parent telling a child of hardship. Thanks Heidi!