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The Gospel From Patmos
Everyday Insights For Living
From The Last Book Of The Bible
Daily Devotional
Thursday, November 21, 2019

            And I saw an angel standing constantly in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice to all the birds that fly in midair, “Come, gather yourselves to the great feast of God in order that you might eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of generals, mighty men, horses and those that sit on them, and the flesh of everyone, whether free or slave, small or great. Rev 19:17-18.



            The last half of Revelation 19 (11-21) contains some gruesome images. The rider on the white horse wears a robe dipped in blood and strikes down whole nations with a sharp sword that comes out of his mouth like a cruise missile! The resulting carnage is so great that all the vultures in the world have difficulty cleaning up after the battle. Like many other parts of Revelation, this would not seem a promising place to find spiritual guidance for everyday living!
            The plagues directed against Egypt in the book of Exodus are representative of the plagues yet to come. In the Exodus story, Pharaoh kept backing off whenever God sent a new plague. Out of fear he would promise to let the Israelites go free, but as soon as the Lord let up, he would go back on his promises. Pharaoh considered God’s kindness a sign of weakness, a chance to take back what he thought he owned.
            Islamic extremists believe that they are right. They truly believe that they are fighting “The Great Satan.” Many have no difficulty hiding in orphanages and hospitals, using innocent women and children as shields, and even slaughtering their own people if they think it will advance the cause. They don’t see those behaviors as wrong. They see them as necessary sacrifices in service of a greater cause. The fact that their enemies try to avoid killing civilians is not seen as kindness or mercy. It is seen as weakness. They think that if those who oppose them truly believed in their cause, they would slaughter everyone that got in the way, women and children included. They see kindness and mercy as weakness.
            On the cross, Jesus had the capacity to destroy his torturers and anyone who took their side. On that fateful Friday 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, His tormenters laughed at a Man who had willingly allowed Himself to be humiliated, beaten, and ultimately killed. They thought His refusal to even argue with His captors was a great sign of weakness.1
            Revelation was written to assure us that it will not always be so. God’s kindness toward Satan and those who take his side will not continue forever. Satan’s days are numbered. God’s kindness is not weakness, it allows us time to repent of our lack of kindness. In the end, God will prove powerful enough to end injustice and deliver His people from evildoers.



            Lord, teach me how to display Your kindness in spite of insult and injustice. Keep my eyes fixed on the final outcome.



1Inspired by an email from Dan Millen, March 26, 2003.


 
 
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