Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Implications
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 105:16–22.
Read: Revelation 15:5–18:24 (Message). Note 1–3 insights or questions that arise from the paraphrase.
Reflect: I appreciate N. T. Wright’s practical illustration to explaining the judgment that he shares in Revelation for Everyone:
When the Bible speaks about God “judging,” or putting into effect his “judgments,” it is just as much a cause for celebration as for anxiety. We have already referred to the famous passages at the end of Psalms 96 and 98, where the whole of creation, animal and vegetable as well as human, sings for joy because YHWH is coming “to judge the earth.” Why? Why is that good news?
Imagine a village in the outlying countryside of Judaea. It’s a long way from the city, and even traders don’t come there that often, far less government officials. A circuit judge comes to the neighboring small town once every few months if they’re lucky. But that doesn’t mean that nothing needs doing. A builder is cheated by a customer, who refuses to admit his fault. A widow has her small purse stolen, and since she has nobody to plead for her she can do nothing. A family is evicted from their home by a landlord who thinks he can get more rent from someone else. And a fraudster with his eye on the main chance has accused a work colleague of cheating him, and though nothing has been done about it the other colleagues seem inclined to believe the charge. And so on. Nobody can do anything about any of these – until the judge comes.
When he comes, expectations will be massive. Months of pent-up frustrations will boil over. The judge will have to keep order, to calm down accusation and defense alike. He will have to hear each case properly and fairly, taking especial care for those with nobody to speak up for them. He will steadfastly refuse all bribes. And then he will decide. Judgment will be done. Chaos will be averted and order will be restored. The cheats will be put in their place, the thief punished and made to restore the purse. The grasping landlord will have to give way, and the false accuser will suffer the punishment he hoped to inflict. And the village as a whole will heave a sigh of relief. Justice has been done. The world has returned into balance. A grateful community will thank the judge from the bottom of its collective heart.
Now magnify the village concerns up to the global level (pp. 137-138).
Recalibrate: How would you want God to handle justice in the end?
Respond: Pray for insight.
Research: What does wrath mean and where do we get the deepest application of this meaning?