Saturday, December 20, 2008

On reading the minor prophets, Revelation and the gospel of John

In the "read through the Bible in a year" plan I started this month, I've been reading in Revelation, the minor prophets, Job, and the gospel of John. I gotta tell you, Nahum, Obadiah, and the rest of those minor guys, they didn't have a whole lot of good news. Destruction, defeat, even the death of infants and predictions of cannibalism, their pronouncements conveyed the seriousness of sin and rebellion and the surety of the Lord's judgment. When I turn over to Revelation, the news doesn't get much better as John relates his visions of angels of wrath and the doom and destruction they pour out on the earth.

Not such pleasant reading. In fact, I am tempted to push aside this picture of the Lord's sovereign wrath and His judgment of sin. It's not pretty. It's not pleasant. It doesn't make me feel good. Rather, if I am honest, I am sometimes uncomfortable with a God who, well, judges, and that judgment carrying such dire consequences.

But then I turn to the gospel of John and there I read of Jesus' crucifixion and there I see the Lord's glorious provision for His righteous judgment. Certainly reading the prophets reminds me of my own sin and its serious repercussions; like those to whom the prophets prophesied, I too deserve the Lord's wrath. I've sinned, grievously so, and my sin condemns me to death.

But God...

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved me, satisfied His own judgment through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Even when I was dead in my sin, lost, undone, doomed, He made me alive in Christ and it is by grace I am saved!

So, I can read Amos and Habbukuk and rejoice that though the Lord's judgment is sure, His grace prevails in the person of Jesus Christ, glory to His name!

6 comments:

  1. Amen, my friend. And what a blessing to be able to read the minor prophets on this side and not still be awaiting the Messiah!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The perfect union of grace and wrath.

    We do not marvel enough.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been attending a weekly Bible study, and we've been in Revelation for months. There are so many fascinating things in it, but one of the most fascinating truths is that God's judgment is actually merciful. He uses it to get the sinners' attention, to bring them to repentance, and salvation.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amen! What need would we have for Jesus if our sin didn't deserve God's wrath?

    ReplyDelete
  5. My daily reading has been in Amos.

    Encouraging stuff.

    I pray you had a wonderful Christmas !! We've got to catch up!

    ReplyDelete