After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”
(Revelation 19:1-5 ESV)
Just finished my latest reading through the New Testament through the bloody wondrous pages of Revelation.
Revelation it seems to me provides us with more questions than it does answers – which is probably due to the fact it’s purpose is to instill within us the wonder of worship in the midst of a chaotic world that continues to teeter and swerve seemingly out of control like a drunken man.
Yes, I believe that love wins…and that victory that overcomes the world is faith…and not everyone has faith. There is a lake of fire that becomes the tortured home “unto the ages of the ages” of beast and false prophet, of despotic regime and tyrannical religion along with their master, the old snake, and every human being who bought into that system and way – “everyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Yes, there will be a judgment – and we are not the executors of it. We don’t own the book, the Lamb does. He reads, he pronounces, we observe, saying “Amen” to the Word.
Babylon falls and the saints rejoice.
Contemplating posted discussions regarding the appropriateness or inappropriateness of throngs celebrating the announced demise of a national enemy, I see in footage of celebratory crowds a glimpse into the shout of joy at the final and irreversible fall of the oppressor, the purveyor of death and terror and bloodshed. Beheaded souls cry out for justice against their oppressor that robbed them of life back in the early chapters of the Revelation. That cry is answered by “Hallelujah!” when that oppressor is thrown like a heavy stone into the depths, never to rise again; when their blood is avenged.
And as was true when the Lamb entered earthly Jerusalem, if we don’t cry out, the stones will as creation tastes freedom from its bondage to decay and then beholds the Bride.
Creation doesn’t offer up the perfect Bride to the Lamb. Nor do we. This is not a city that we are building or can build. The City comes down from above. We can only try to measure it, to describe it, to anticipate it; and as we do, we fall down in wonder. Which seems to me to be the ultimate effect of these collected works we call the New Testament; the ultimate posture of the Story.
We fall down in wonder.
And we worship.