Reading: Revelation 11
15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever."
16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small-and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
19Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. (Rev. 11:15-19)
Reflecting and Thinking
The figurative language of this chapter possibly moves to the most difficult level yet in the book. Most readers easily work through the introductory prologue and letters to the churches (ch. 1-3). The heavenly scene which reveals God and the Lamb who can open the seals is not too troublesome (ch. 4-5). The seals, declaring that God and the Lamb control all of history including martyrdom and judgments, are more difficult, (ch. 6) but we are comforted by the protective interlude between the 6th and 7th seals (ch. 7). The trumpets of judgment present difficult details, but the judgment of God is again comforting (ch. 8-9). Now in the interlude between the 6th trumpet and the 7th trumpet (ch. 10-11), we meet two witnesses, both of whom are martyred, but then resurrected.
The two witnesses of Chapter 11 testify to the power and holiness of the Lord (11:3-6); they also testify to the resurrection power of the Lord by their own resurrection and by being taken to heaven. Everything is not as it seems-God is the God who works to reverse irreversible situations. Satan's power is limited and temporary.
The completion of the second woe (sixth trumpet) opens the way for final victory, but the judgment of God convinces only a few to give glory to God. Today's text reflects the theme of the book. "The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he reigns forever."
The celebration could begin were it not for John's command to prophesy again. Perhaps the brief view into God's temple (11:19) provides a parallel as we start down a road not unlike the road we have just traveled, but a road that advances the story a bit further.
Spend a few minutes today thinking about the journey we have completed thus far in the book of Revelation. Think about how God may want this story to change your life, and pray about it.
Dear God, help me see where and how you want me to change, and empower my life, I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.