December 2, 2011

Saturday after the First Sunday in Advent

Lectionary

Morning - Ps. 28, 29, Is. 7:1-89, Mk. 2:13-22
Evening - Ps. 27, Is. 7:10-20, Rev. 10

Commentary
Revelation 10

In chapter 8 God responds to the prayers of His people with the trumpet blasts of the angels, bringing even more sorrows to the wicked. Reading the chapter we need to keep in mind that the sea represents lost humanity and the blood represents lives lost. The falling star is a person of great influence in Jerusalem, probably the high priest or the civil ruler. The celestial bodies represent people, being darkened probably represents death.

Chapter 9 shows the approaching army of Rome. It is symbolised in the image of Babylon, which sacked Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The meaning is that, just as the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, so Rome will destroy it again, and for the same reason; as God's judgment for the sins of Israel.

In chapter 10 we see our Lord (the mighty angel) coming down from Heaven. This is not the Second Coming. This is a spiritual coming in wrath to Jerusalem. He still holds the book, only now it is very small since most of the seals have been opened. His voice is like a lion's roar, for He is the Lion of Judah. John is not allowed to write what the seven peals of thunder reveal but the Lord tells him the time of judgment is about to begin (remember, all of this is in the future for John).

In verses 8-10 John is commanded to eat the book, which tastes sweet as honey but makes his belly bitter. The book, which contained the prophecies of wrath on the persecuting Jews seems sweet at first. But then we consider that this is Jerusalem, the holy city, the site of the Temple, the place where God has been worshiped for more than a thousand years. How can one ponder this and not weep and pray for the Jewish people? How can this book fail to make the belly bitter?

Chapter 10 ends with a call to keep prophesying. The judgment of God does not end at the gate of Jerusalem. Many people will fall under His displeasure, and John is to proclaim the coming wrath to those people too. This will comfort the Church, and it will give the others a warning and an opportunity to repent.

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