S (Scripture): Revelation 9:20 The rest of humanity, who had not been killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so that they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk about. 21 Furthermore, they did not repent of their murders, of their magic spells, of their sexual immorality, or of their stealing.
O (Observation): So some freaky angels are set free to kill 1/3 of humanity. Then, 200 million scary horses with their riders came out and killed another 1/3. The last 1/3 showed no signs of remorse of their idol worship.
This “woe” had no affect on the remaining 1/3 of humanity.
A (Application): Who do the Angels represent today? I don’t care.
Who do the 200 million horsemen represent today? That matters not to me.
Why? If all of this were to come to pass…I would have no say in their coming. And we can only brig conjecture to the table. And even if we DID get it right, that’s not the point!!!! The point? Just follow me here…
Here is what I do care about: repentance. These 1/3 remaining are said to have been non-repentant, even in the face of these consequences of their actions.
I have a hard time reconciling God allowing this type of destruction. We hear Jesus (in the Gospels) speaking of wailing and gnashing of teeth. We assume a warning would have influence. But we also know that God was remorseful after the flood in Genesis. Something doesn’t fit.
Back to my takeaway: repentance. I hope to be vigilant in my Obedience to Jesus Christ. But I know that my Obedience is only a direct reflection of my Identity as a child of God. I am claimed by a God who is ALWAYS in a posture of welcoming me…despite the grim picture painted by God (through John of Patmos) this day.
Repentance and Forgiveness are a daily cycle for me, and I hope for you, too! We are in a church in which Confession and Forgiveness are a part of our weekly rhythms. We corporately confess of our sins and receive absolution. That’s an important recognition of our frailty and of our God who is always welcoming us in.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us focused on being repentant and relying solely on you – day in and day out. Amen.