Wednesday word 11.08.2017
Revelation 7:9-17 New International Version
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” 13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water. ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
So the multitude in the white robes were those who had come through the “Tribulation.” Now, I don’t even like to think about the Tribulation. It is just too scary to think about. But, these were the people who stood firm against all trials and all manner of horrible things and could not be induced to deny their God. They refused to give up their faith in God no matter what befell them. The images stir my heart.
I want to believe that I would be able to endure any torture or torment and still be able to praise my Savior and acknowledge God alone as my Lord. I would hope that my faith is strong enough to refuse to deny my King. I guess I am just like Pollyanna, and I think I am going to sing a happy tune even in the most dangerous circumstances. Yet, the more I think about it, the more disturbing the thought becomes. Don’t you and I sometimes deny that we are Christ-followers by our actions? Don’t we do things during the normal course of our day that are totally contrary to what Jesus tells us to do? Don’t we sometimes behave publicly in ways that would lead others to believe that we were not Christians? Any time we repeat gossip. Any time we speak harshly to someone. Any time we curse that terrible driver who cut us off. And so on, and so on. So many times, I shudder to think! Isn’t that a type of denial of the things we claim to espouse, of the very one who paid the price for us?
I don’t write these words to depress the stuffing out of us all. It is a reminder to myself and, I hope it is useful to you. I can only imagine wearing a snow white robe someday. I know that I am weak and sometimes thoughtless. But, I also know who has the power to wash me clean. I know whose love and mercy will never fail. I rejoice in that love and rely on it to see me through. How about you?…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki