God is king - 20 June 2023
By Ben Fourie
After John followed Jesus’ instruction to send the letters to the seven churches, he saw another vision. The central theme of this vision is God who is sitting on his throne as king of all. Always keep in mind that the book was written to Christians who suffered a lot under persecution by the Romans.
This vision of God sitting on his throne was meant to help the readers understand that God is the King above all kings and he has everything under control. This part of Revelation does not point to specific events at the end of time. It is rather a picture of the full run of history from the day Jesus ascended into heaven, to the day of his second coming. In the end, it is the story of the church of Jesus and every believer that belongs to the church.
This story of God and his church are beautifully pictured as a rolled-up scroll that is sealed with seven seals. Seven is the number of God, the perfect number. God’s plan with the church is perfect. Contrary to the custom of those days, the scroll is covered with writing on both sides. This symbolises that God’s plan for his church and the world in which the world functions, is fully detailed. Nothing is left out.
In the vision, the scroll is still bound by the seven seals. God’s plan for the church and world is still hidden, nobody could look into it yet. Then, John saw Somebody like a Lamb and the Lamb looked as if it was slaughtered. This is Jesus who was sacrificed on the cross for us and because of this sacrifice, he is the only one who was able to reveal God’s plan for the world. His blood of atonement gives him the right to break the seals and open the scroll.
Each seal that he opens means that another part of the scroll is revealed, and we see more and more of the history of the church and world unfolding. In this unfolding history, there is a lot of struggle, but also victory, as symbolised by the vision of a white horse and its rider. This rider is Jesus who is going forward to conquer the world with the gospel of his love for every one of us.
Prayer: Lord, please help me every day to see something of your wonderful plan for the church and also the world. Please help me not to be so anxious. Help me to keep remembering that you are on the throne. Amen