Mar 24 2012 - E100.98c – Revelation 6, The seals
In the midst of a time of persecution, John sees those who have been killed for the sake of the gospel gathered by an altar – the reminder of the Lamb who had given his life for his people. They are crying out "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" (Revelation 6:10). Their cry echoes similar cries we hear in the Psalms of God's people crying out, "How long...?"
We live in a world where many sad things happen and where many evil things happen. If God is really in control, If Jesus really is Lord, why does he allow such things to go on? Why does he not step in to put a stop to them? Why does he not come to put the world to rights? The Book of Revelation tells us that God will come to put the world to rights; a day will come when "There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (21:4).
But why not now? The unfastening of the seals reminds us that God is in control of history and that he is working out his purposes as year succeeds to year – even if that is not always apparent to us. In the midst of our cries and tears, we can trust him.
Lord God, many things I hear in the news make me cry out, “Sovereign Lord, how long?” I am deeply disturbed by the pain and injustice of this world and long for you to come and put it all to rights. But then, I recognise that there is much also that is wrong with me. Make me, I pray, more the person you would have me be that I might be a living witness to the transformation that shall make all things new at your coming.