Digging in Deeper: Revelation 9:20-21

“The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is the real key of this chapter and, really, one of the main themes of the entire record.  There appear to be two goals of the various acts of cataclysmic judgments described in Revelation.  One goal is the punishment of sin.  God has been patient long enough and now it is time for judgment.  It is time to let people see and experience the full weight of their sin.  Just like with the nation of Israel in the days leading up to and during the conquest of Jerusalem and the exile, the time for the whole world has come up and sin is finally being judged on a large scale. Read the rest…

O God of Vengeance?

I was reading the other day in Psalm 94 and I came across something that really caught my eye.  In the first verse, the psalmist proclaims this: “O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!”

O God of vengeance?  I can think of a lot of things for which to praise the Lord.  I could praise Him for His goodness, His love, His mercy, His compassion, His justice, His righteousness, His faithfulness, His generosity, His protection, His plans, His gentleness, His care, and I could probably keep going here for a while.  You may want to go get a sandwich and come back.

The point is: There are lots of things for which we could easily offer praise to God.  Vengeance doesn’t usually (or ever) fall on that list.  Why would the psalmist offer praise like this as the start of his poem and why would that particular song get picked up for the collection of sacred songs that were counted as Scripture?   Read the rest…