March 27, 2008

Revelation 15.4-16.1

After this I looked, and the Temple of the Tent of Witness in Heaven was opened, and out of the Temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen, and their breasts girded with golden girdles.

And one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives for ever and ever, and the Temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one could enter the Temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.

Then I heard a loud voice from the Temple telling the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the Earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God."

4 Comments:

At 2:27 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Oy vey!

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger nathan's shepherd said...

Cecil B. DeMille eat your heart out!

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Okay, so all this is overkill for a mere few billion clueless mortals.

This is God depicted at work in this scene. The very same God we also see in the story of Jonah, where He threatens Nineveh with destruction. Then the inhabitants repent, and God spares the city. "Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are 120,000 persons who don't know which hand to wipe with, and many cattle as well?"

So now here we are, not knowing which hand to wipe with, and hardly knowing how to turn from the path which has brought us to this condition!

And we're inside an "apocalyptic" work now, not a book of traditional-style prophecy. ie, This book seems to be a description either of [choose one?] a) God's fixed agenda for the end of human History or b) The Way Things Are in some symbolic eternal perspective. We really ought to repent, if we knew what's good for us, but quite obviously we don't.

We don't know how many times humanity has repented just sufficiently, and squeeked by on the tip of a mouse-whisker, just enough to allow the great human drama to play on, give or take a few heaps of dead extras!

We're using live ammo in this performance, folks! Granted it doesn't kill the soul, but what a mess! If this passage is a description of history as we know it, it's terrible enough. If these plagues are supposed to represent coming attractions, ow!

So God wants to know: "What's my motivation in this scene?" Can we answer that? Why plagues? Is this consistent with what we know about God from Jesus? Why? Why not? Can we please have the wisdom & insight to know what's going on with this?

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger nathan's shepherd said...

I always liked that line from Jonah -- 120,000 people -- not to mention the cows. As if Jonah looking for one horror-show ending might be moved by the poor cows if won't be by the women men and children.

Which makes the plagues stuff in Revelation all the more hard to cope with. Would a God who goads Jonah's conscience in this manner then turn around and slaughter a third of the planet?

I knew a woman who proposed that Jesus' crucifixion was about getting out attention. A kind of message from the Big Kahuna to the effect of -- hey guys, pay attention, this is THIS important.

Maybe the plagues are like that.

 

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