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

Great Reversals.

Revelation 14   Esther 5:1-6:13   Psalm 106:24-48

“Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on mount Zion!” (Revelation 14:1). Notice: This is the vision which immediately follows that of the beasts rising. Immediately. Meanwhile, our reading in Esther moves quickly from Haman’s exaltation and proud “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?” (Esther 6:6) to his complete chagrin, as he must honor Mordecai publicly, at the king’s command (v.11). And then there is the “nevertheless” of Psalm 106 (v.44) . . . as Israel, having been described as unclean, unfaithful, rebellious, and fully deserving of God’s judgment, is “nevertheless” shown compassion “according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” Welcome to the theme of this day’s readings, and a central theme of the entire story of God: Great reversals.

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints” (Revelation 14:12). Mordecai appeared destined for the gallows (Esther 5:14) . . . Israel’s exile seemed unending (and well-deserved) . . . And it looks as if that the saints will be overwhelmed and conquered (Revelation 13) . . . Then the whole number of the faithful are brought into view, with the Lamb, singing the song of the redeemed! (Revelation 14:1-5). Do you see it? All three narratives communicate the same truth: In the face of seemingly irreversible circumstances, and despite all evidence to the contrary, God prevails. And every single one of those who remain faithful to the end are redeemed. This, indeed, is a call for endurance!

“With an eternal gospel to proclaim . . .” (Revelation 14:6). Good news to those who live on earth. Even as final judgment is announced. “Fear God and give him glory.” Again God’s compassionate “nevertheless” (Psalm 106:44). Abundant and steadfast love. There is still time. Even now reversal is possible. “Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Revelation 14:7). May we be counted among those who worship the God of Great Reversals. And may we proclaim the eternal gospel that whoever will, may come. Amen.

“Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.”
— Psalm 106:47

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