The Final Authority

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Today’s Scripture: Revelation 9

Revelations. Whether reading it for themselves or talking to someone else about it, where does one even begin with Revelations? I’m sure you have questions about this chapter, because I have questions about this chapter. And there’s no way I’ll be able to explain what you’ve either just read or are about to read. People more intelligent than me—way more intelligent—have tried.

One logical place to start when dealing with a chapter like this (what with the locusts like horses with tails like scorpions, faces like human faces, hair like the hair of women, and teeth like the teeth of lions) is by researching what more knowledgeable Christians have said on the topic. Fortunately, there are many Bible commentaries available that offer thoughts on this chapter.

Unfortunately, most of them don’t agree with each other.

Some theologians insist this chapter should be taken literally (taking into account, of course, the use of figurative language). Other theologians say this is clearly meant symbolically. Some biblical scholars say these prophecies are things that are going to happen. Others say these are about things that happened after this book was written, but that are now in the past.

I imagine those who believe these events already happened are not the same people who believe this chapter should be taken literally. If there were ever horses with tails like snakes and heads like lions that breathed smoke and burning sulfur from their mouths, I think I would have learned about it in history class!

Here’s one thing I hope we all can agree on from this chapter: God is ultimately in control. No matter how bad things get, in Revelations or in our own lives, God has full authority. Even with all the terrible things that happen in this chapter, we see God limiting the powers of these destructive forces (Revelation 9:4, 5).

You may wonder why God wouldn’t put a stop to all of the suffering entirely. It’s a fair question, but it’s not fair to ask me. Again, people much smarter than I have struggled with that question, and though I do have some thoughts on why God allows suffering, I’m supposed to keep this devotional under 400 words.

Within the context of this chapter, I imagine the “why” of the matter involves giving people the opportunity to repent (Revelation 9:20-21). However, putting the question of human suffering aside, here’s another thing I hope we can agree on: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).

So whatever you’re worrying about or struggling with, I hope you can take some comfort in this fact: No matter what happens, God, who loves you and to whom you matter, is in complete control.

Do you know what you believe about Revelation? Have you spent any time researching the different views?

Do you trust that, no matter what, God is in control?

Next Steps:
Think about the things that worry you or that you don’t understand. Spend time releasing these things to God through prayer. End your prayer by reaffirming your trust in God.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the book of Revelation. I don’t always understand it, but I know you want us to read it and that you have things to teach me through it. Thank you that, no matter what we face, you are in control and looking out for us. Teach me to have complete trust in you. May your will be done. Amen.

This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.

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1 reply
  1. Cathy Thibodeau
    Cathy Thibodeau says:

    Thanks, Payton. I have read some theologians commentaries on Revelation too, and it can get confusing. I always default back to Revelation 22: 18-19, which says that no one should add or subtract to the Scriptures in any way. I enjoyed your post!

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