Blogging the Bible 361 – Revelation 8:6-11:19 – ???

I’m tempted just to write ‘I’ve got no idea either’.

These chapters read like something from a nightmare or horror movie, with natural disaster, plague, warfare and massacres. It’s hard to see how it fits as the Bible comes to its end – but perhaps the point is that sin, the whole range of human rebellion against God, matters deeply. And God is prepared to use crisis to boot people into taking seriously the need for a change of heart and life. 

In chapters 10-11, the focus moves to the call to the church to speak the word of God even into this darkening world. John himself is called to eat the scroll of the words of God, and it becomes a compulsion to speak out. Then he is shown the two witnesses, I think representing Elijah and Moses, speaking out prophecy and law in renewed power despite all opposition, and then vindicated after they have been killed by being raised to life.

This brings the culmination of this part of Revelation, as the reign of God is proclaimed in the praises of those gathered around his throne, and the heavenly temple is opened.

So what can we get out of these chapters? A reminder that we are called to speak despite the worst the world can throw at us and in the midst of turmoil and catastrophe – and that God wins in the end.

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