Even In The Valley
God is always good even when situations are not. God is our Provider and Protector even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Studies into the book of Revelation are always so curious to me. Prophecies are veiled messages intended to give light to a future event. But, oftentimes these prophecies are misunderstood or misinterpreted. If we look to the Old Testament, the prophecies of Jesus in the time in which they were written were massively misunderstood. So stark was the contrast between King and Messiah that some scholars in that day believed there would be two messiahs.
Today, we find ourselves in Revelation Chapters 8-11. We have heard about the bowls and seals, and now we hear about the trumpets. Trumpets are instruments of war and of worship. Shane Wood has said, “The way in which we fight our war is through our worship.” In the fifth seal, we saw that Christians are protected spiritually, but not always physically. I say all of this to point to the fact that God is always good even when situations are not. God is our Provider and Protector even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Many would ask, “Then why are there plagues that torture the Christian and the non-Christian alike?” Have you ever noticed that the tragedies in our life seem to get us focused on God like no other times? I’m not saying that God causes these tragedies to get our attention, but I do believe He will use them for His glory and our benefit. But, the benefit often happens through repentance. Repentance isn’t always about asking forgiveness for sin, but it is often a process in which we come to see Christ clearer and cling to Him stronger.
We must remember that this is a picture of the end of times. It is a picture of the opportunity to turn to God before the final judgment. In Chapter 10:6-7 we read, “There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.” The mystery of God will be accomplished! The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ is about to be fulfilled! In Revelation 11:13 we see that survivors gave glory to God – they repented.
“Finally, the seventh trumpet resounds, and the refrain of Heaven is heard:
‘The kingdom of the world has become the
Kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and He will reign for ever and ever.'”
It is finished! It is accomplished! It is fulfilled! Jesus has come to reign and will reign forever and ever.
As Christians, there may be suffering, but that suffering can be an instrument to help us recalibrate our focus, our attention, and most importantly our worship on our God and King, our Master and Lord, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus to whom all praise is due.
Revelation 8-11 is not a terrible passage, but a passage of hope, a passage of promise, and a passage of peace.
Our God reigns!