The final chapter of the grand vision from God to John comes to a conclusion in today's reading. It's a magnificent chapter. Here are a few insights I was able to see this morning as I arose early to study and imbibe God's Word: -Vss 1,2: Living water flows from God's and the Lamb's throne. This living water was promised by Jesus in John 7 and in eternity Jesus' people will drink freely of it forever. There is also a "tree of life" next to the river bank, showing the restoration of Eden, creation as God intended. All the nations will eat of it and death will NEVER have any more power in the new heaven and the new earth.
-Vs 3: Nothing will be accursed, as was Eden and the old created order. God's throne will make the entire city a temple and we will be priests who reign. We were MADE TO REIGN forever, Think about that for a while!
-Vs 4: No one, even Moses, could look on God's face and live (see Ex 33). But in the new heaven, all who believe in Jesus will receive the greatest of all blessings: we will be able to look into God's face for all eternity. We will know him as "Abba", Daddy forever. We will be able to do so because his "name is written" on our foreheads. Again, I think this means we have the mind of Christ, God's greatest desire for us all.
-Vs 5: Night is banished forever. We bask in God's light all day long for all eternity, again, as God's priests who reign!
-Vss 6-9: The angel affirms to John that these words are trustworthy. Then he pronounces a blessing (one of seven in the book). People are blessed who understand and keep the words in this book (they are the Word of God!). This message is proclaimed over and over again throughout the Scripture. John is rebuked for desiring to worship an angel. Like us, angels are merely servants of God. Jesus alone is worthy of our worship.
-Vs 10: The words of this prophecy should not be sealed, as Daniel's was. Everyone should have access to them, read them, obey them and look forward to Jesus coming!
-Vs 11: Our patterns of behavior seal our eternity. The righteous continue to do righteousness. The unrighteousness do not.
-Vs 12,13: God is the beginning and the end. Eternal life and God's lordship characterize who God is, our soon coming King.
-Vs 14-15: This is the final of the angel's blessings. Blessed are those who "wash their robes" in the blood of the Lamb, where their consciences are clean and clear forever. Inside the city of God, all God's people have access to the tree of life. Outside the city of God, those involved in sexual immorality, murder, telling lies, etc are those who live in eternal torment. God will not intervene in the lives of those who want nothing to do with him. Why would he? Hell is God's monument to free will.
-Vss 16-17: Jesus is the "root and descendant of David", as prophesied. He is both David's Lord and son, the "bright morning star", a fulfillment of Balaam's prophecy in Numbers 24 of a ruler arising from Israel to conquer all the nations of the world. The "Come" here is asking Jesus to come sooner rather than later. For those who are "thirsty" we drink of his water of life provided "without price", a free gift from God received by grace through faith. It is a gift freely provided by our God of great grace and mercy.
-Vss 18-21: John severely warns all not to add one letter to his letter! This is done other places in the Bible too, for example, by Moses in Deut. 4:2. Anyone who tried to do so without God's authorization deserved death! It's a strong word to all other religions who have added books to the Bible and given equal authority to them.
I hope you've enjoyed our jaunt through Revelation. I must end with the words in vss 20,2: "Come, Lord Jesus!" May you come soon, Lord, and may we all be ready when that great day arrives. Also: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."
It's all about HIS grace, freely given and received. To him alone belongs all the glory.