And I saw another great and astonishing sign in heaven, seven angels having the seven last plagues, because in them the wrath of God has been brought to completion. And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mingled with fire, and the ones who had overcome the beast and his image and the number of his name stood upon the sea of glass having the harps of God. Rev 15:1-2.
As we have seen, this passage introduces the great final plagues of earth’s history. These fall on those who have rejected God and hurt His people. But like the original Exodus from Egypt, the mighty power of God delivers His people. While terrible things happen in the name of God, Revelation teaches us that even His plagues are acts of compassion to warn the unrepentant and to deliver the faithful.
David Kosoff tells the story of a famous rabbi who swapped places and clothing with his driver, Samuel, before visiting a synagogue. Upon their arrival, the members of the synagogue immediately gathered around Samuel, thinking he was the renowned scholar. During refreshments the leaders of the synagogue flattered Samuel and hung on his every word.
Relishing his new-found fame, Samuel refused to abandon the charade when it came time for the lecture. With misplaced self-confidence, he sauntered into the synagogue to expound upon the Talmud, one of the most important of Jewish writings.
The elders opened the book to a very difficult passage and asked Samuel to explain it. But Samuel couldn’t even read the Hebrew script, much less explain it! It looked like the ruse was up. But desperation sharpened Samuel’s wit and after examining the text for a moment he said, “I’m surprised that you ask me to explain such a simple passage; even my uneducated driver could interpret this!” He waved the “driver” forward to explain the text, which he, of course, did with ease.
Most of us find ourselves in difficulties that are beyond our ability to fix from time to time. At such times it is good for us to have a “driver” who is far smarter and stronger than we are. One of the major purposes of the Book of Revelation is to convince us that God is able to handle any problem and that no matter how bad things get God will win the victory in the end. In spite of our weaknesses, we can move ahead with confidence knowing that there is a great God who will see us through.