Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

The Mystery of God . . .

Revelation 10   Nehemiah 13   Psalm 104:24-35

“Remember them . . . Remember me . . .” (Nehemiah 13:29,31). And by this Nehemiah means “them” for punishment and “me, O my God, for good.” Why? Because “they” mixed with foreigners, while he “cleansed them from everything foreign” (v.30). Separation. Exclusion. Wall building . . . The message of Nehemiah. And, read a certain way, Psalm 104 reinforces such we/they thinking with “let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more” (v.35). And Revelation is certainly all about that! But what is this “mystery” about which the seer speaks in chapter 10?  Well.

“The mystery of God will be fulfilled” (Revelation 10:7). As announced by the prophets.  And here given as a word of assurance to John and his readers who are, recall, members of churches planted by Paul in his ministry to Gentiles and “foreigners.” And the nature and content this mystery? Paul summarizes it as nothing less than “a plan for the fullness of time to gather up all things in him,” that is, Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10), who has “broken down the dividing wall” in his flesh (Ephesians 2:14), bringing Jew and Gentile together as one. The point? No more we/they thinking! The mystery of God is that anyone — Anyone — can enter the story and be part of what God is doing. Indeed, this is God’s plan and purpose: to break down walls and unite all things in Christ!

“It was sweet as honey in my mouth . . .” (Revelation 10:10). But bitter in the stomach. The reference is to the word of God received; sweet because it is God’s word, bitter because it contains terrible judgments . . . for there are many who reject the gift that is offered in Christ. Sweet word: No more dividing walls. Bitter truth: We keep building walls . . . between one another and, most terribly, between us and God. Hear the word this day: We are all utterly dependent on God at every moment for our existence (Psalm 104:27-30). And God desires to bring all creation into harmony again. And God will do so. Sin and wickedness will be removed from the earth. So let us give ourselves not to we/they divisions, but to God’s great and mysterious task. Let us pray that God will remember them and us for good. And let us work to break down walls to the praise and glory of God forever. Amen.

“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him . . .”
— Psalm 104:33,34

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