Celebrate! – Revelation 19.1-10. RBT Notes, 24th February

As Christians we love God for His holiness. Even more compelling for us than His love is the fact that His love is absolutely holy. In fact, all that He is and does is holy, perfect and spotless.

Though we often find it hard to glory in God’s perfect judgment now, our sight of God in Christ on the Last Day will leave us with no doubts. We shall see sin for what it is, a vicious desecration of God’s holiness. And we shall see judgment as the most beautiful and right assertion of God’s holiness. Then we shall really celebrate God and His ways for all that they are.

Just like the redeemed in ch.19. They roar out their praise, as all excited crowds do. They’re not praising a music performer or a sports star, but our God, Who has judged wickedness (vv.1-4). Their worship is our spur to do the same (v.5). What a reason we have to do that, as the judgment of God is the forerunner to the consummation of the love God the Bridegroom has for His Bride, the Church (vv.6-10). We are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb – and what a feast that will be! There is no blessing, in this world or in the world to come, which can ever compare to the invitation. Feasting with Jesus means eternal life. He is our love, our Husband, the Saviour who died to win us. He is calling us, and inviting us. These are the true words of God (v.9). Does Jesus have our true hearts?

 


A Prayer to Pray

Lord Jesus, Holy Lover of Your people, I can only fall at Your feet to worship You. You have given me Your righteousness, as You have given me Your heart.  Please fill mine with praise to You – teach me heart to celebrate Your grace! Amen.

 

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Holy, Holy Holy – Revelation 15. RBT Notes, 19th February

Revelation is a vision which should leave us exhausted, and then, by grace, exhilarated. It is a vision of God’s absolute holiness, and a vision which must overwhelm us. In John’s book we face up to pictures of a perfectly wise, perfectly loving and perfectly wrathful God. We cannot turn away unchanged, nor have our views of God unchallenged. He is God, He is holy. That means, He is utterly different from us in His absolute perfection. And, as we’ll discover, His holiness, terrifying as it is to sinful people like ourselves, is in fact our only hope.

hqdefaultAfter the previous visions of the Woman and the Dragon (12.1-3), here is the third, of the Presence of God Himself. In line with what Moses and Ezekiel saw, John records a dazzling sea of glass (v.2), symbolising God’s dwelling-place. Standing there are God’s servants. They have “been victorious over the Beast”, through their suffering witness, and most likely through their martyrs’ death (v.2). Like no one else, they worship God as they know Him to be, as the Holy One (v.3). Reflect on their song, and sing it yourself. It is a song of a mighty and majestic Lord!

A holy God has dealings not only with those who embrace His covenant-love, but with those who reject it. As John sees the heavenly place of worship, he calls it the Tabernacle of the Testimony, the word “Testimony” reminding us that God has spoken to His people, charging them to be faithful to them. John’s heart is heavy with the fact that the people of the unbelieving generation who heard Jesus’ words and rejected them, were in covenant with God. Now they must meet the covenant judgement of the God they rejected, as all sinners will once day. The bowls of God’s wrath are made ready to be poured out against sin (vv.6-9).

For bowls, think cups. And then think of how one cup brings you to the Holy God. Jesus drained the cup which was prepared for our sin. He took it, and emptied, not pouring it out on others, but drinking it down for them. Love took the punishment which holiness demanded. Jesus drank wrath, that you might drink grace. No one would take wrath for us. Jesus did. We call it the Gospel. It’s from heaven, and it will bring us into heaven.

 

A Prayer to Pray

Lord, Your love is astounding, just as Your purity is amazing. How I praise You that I am free from the guilt of all of my sins as I see it taken by Jesus. Put in my heart a song of holy praise to my God, for in the Gospel Your righteous acts have been revealed. Amen.