CDPCKL · The Book of Truth (Revelation 5:1-14)

The Book of Truth (Revelation 5:1-14)

Way back near the beginning of our bible, in the Book of Exodus, we find the story of a nation delivered from slavery, carried safely through the sea and the wilderness, and led to the foot of a mountain in Arabia where God himself met them in the form of thunder and lightning, a thick cloud and the sound of a trumpet that grew louder and louder. 

And there God made a covenant with that nation. These are his exact words: “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nation you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” 

In other words, God was proposing marriage. He was saying, “Look, even though all the people of the earth are valuable, made in my image, I want you to be my special people. And if you will be faithful to me, as I am faithful to you, then I will make sure you become like a mother over a whole family of redeemed nations.” 

And when the people accepted God’s marriage proposal, God called Moses up to join him on the mountain so he could write out the marriage contract. Which he did, on two stone tablets — which had writing on both sides, front and back. These were the two tablets of the covenant law: the ten commandments, along with a short list of the blessings for faithfulness, the penalties for unfaithfulness, and detailed plans for their new home together: the tabernacle, the sacred tent where God was going to live with his new wife, his new holy nation. 

Unfortunately, while Moses was gone to make sure the marriage contract was properly stamped and sealed, God’s bride got impatient and started to celebrate her honeymoon…without her new husband. Instead of waiting for Moses to return with the contract so they could celebrate properly, God’s people set up a golden cow and worshiped that instead… 

And if you are familiar with how that story unfolds, you know that Moses, in his rage and grief, smashed those two tablets. The covenant written on them had already been broken, so…why bother to keep the paperwork? It was very obvious that these people were not worthy to read this contract — or even look at it! 

It was too late, however: the contract had already been properly signed and sealed, which meant that the penalties for unfaithfulness already applied. Death came to the camp. Many thousands died by the sword and by a pandemic. And God very nearly divorced his new bride right then and there; the marriage was only saved through Moses’ rather frantic negotiations. 

This episode, however, is not the only time in the Old Testament that we are told about a document written and signed and sealed by God, a document that turns out to be unreadable by those who are not worthy. 

The prophet Isaiah, for instance, was commissioned to write a Book of Judgement, warning God’s people to repent. But he was told, right from the start, that his book would be like a scroll that is signed and sealed and properly delivered to God’s people, but that those who do know how to read will hide behind the legality of things, they will say, “No no no, I can’t read that, it’s sealed!” — even though they know very well that it was sealed up for them — while those who cannot read will hide behind their lack of education, they will say, “No no no, that’s not for me, I don’t know how to read!” — even though they could ask Isaiah himself to read it and explain it to them. 

It’s a bit like if you were to say to me, “Hey, have you read that book I mailed to you a few weeks ago?” and I replied, “Well, you know, I would, but it came in this yellow puffy envelope, and I don’t have x-ray vision, I can’t see through the packaging! Besides, I don’t read so good anyway.” 

Clearly, those are just excuses. That was God’s people saying, “We are not actually interested in reading this book you sent us.” And so they proved that they also were unworthy to read God’s Book of Judgements — or even open it. 

In the same way the prophet Ezekiel was also commissioned to call God’s people to repentance. And he was also told, right from the start, that they would not listen. And in his vision, God gave him a scroll that had writing on both sides, just like the stone tablets in Moses’ time. Except that, on this scroll there were no blessings on one side, penalties on the other. Instead, Ezekiel says, on both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe: this was another Book of Judgement. Then, in a rather strange turn of events, Ezekiel was asked to eat the scroll and preach based on what he just internalised. And so, in this way, the scroll really was sealed up so that God’s people could not read it or even open it — the only way they could prove themselves worthy to receive God’s Word was by asking God’s prophet to read it and explain it. 

A few years after Ezekiel, the prophet Daniel was also given a message from God, except that — in his case — the message came in the form of an angel who read out loud to him from a book called the Book of Truth, which was an outline of God’s plan for the future, beginning in Daniel’s time and ending with Judgement Day. And Daniel was commissioned to write down a copy of what was read to him, seal it up and send it out for publishing, knowing even as he did this that many among God’s people would find any excuse to avoid reading it or trying to understand it properly: they too, would prove themselves unworthy to read God’s Book of Truth or even open it. 

Then, finally, near the end of the Old Testament, a prophet named Zechariah was also commissioned to call God’s people to repentance for their sins — and the people of his generation actually did repent. 

Which resulted in a four month long silence in which Zechariah was probably going, “…oh. That was easy. This has never happened before! What do I do next?” 

Well, after that four-month silence, what happened next is that Zechariah began to receive a series of some of the most encouraging visions in the whole Old Testament, visions that were like screenshots of God’s Book of Truth: not enough to put together into one coherent timeline of the future, but enough to see that the great end of history was rapidly approaching, when God would redeem his people, atone for wickedness, and bring in everlasting righteousness. 

Basically, Zechariah got to have the career that Isaiah and Ezekiel and Daniel and all the other prophets wished they had. I can imagine him arriving in paradise, smiling, happy, fulfilled, successful, and the other guys going, “Okay, okay kid, don’t overdo it now. Remember, we did all the hard work in advance for you…!” 

In one of those screenshots from God’s Book of Truth, Zechariah saw an unsealed scroll, an open scroll, and this scroll also had writing on both sides: judgements written on both sides. Which did not sound very positive! until Zechariah read the curses and realized that they were specifically designed to purify God’s people, and purify God’s land, in preparation for the end of the world and the beginning of the new one. 


And so now here we are in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 5. And this is where John finally gets to see in full what all the other prophets only got to see in part. Even Zechariah did not get to see what John sees here today: because where Zechariah was looking forward to the end of history, here John gets to see it with his own eyes. 

So, if you remember the setting from last week, John is now standing in God’s throne room. The moment he arrived he quickly switched his phone to “pano” mode and managed to take a clear panoramic shot of eternity: the way things really are in the garden of God’s presence. 

Today, in Chapter 5, as some kind of action begins, John switches his phone to video mode. And this is what he captured: [1] Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 

[3] But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 

[4] I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 

Now, John is standing in God’s presence, which is supposed to be glorious beyond description. How is it that John can weep in this setting? 

So we ask Jesus for an answer to this question. And, as usual, Jesus directs us back to the Old Testament history of scrolls that are written on both sides, scrolls that are signed and sealed, scrolls that nobody even wants to read because they are committed to not listening anyway. 

And this is where we realize that John weeps because he knows that, if this scroll is God’s rewritten marriage covenant from Moses’ time, but no one has the authority to ratify it…then God’s people have truly been divorced. If this scroll is the book of lament and mourning and woe from Ezekiel’s time, but no one can ratify it…then God’s people have truly been abandoned to pursue their adultery as much as they like. If this scroll is the Book of Truth from Daniel’s time, and from Zechariah’s time, but no one can ratify it…then the future redemption of God’s people will never come to pass, the earth will never be made new, the history of what might have been will remain rolled up and sealed and stored away on a shelf in God’s library forever, while we just grind on here through generation after generation of hopeless, unrelieved misery… 

That is why John weeps, even in God’s presence: he is witnessing the end of redemption history, the complete collapse of the future God planned so carefully. 

But [5] then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 

The Lion of the tribe of Judah comes from a prophecy that Jacob made way back at the end of the Book of Genesis: even back then, the Jewish people were told to look for a Saviour from the tribe of Judah who would triumph over all his enemies and then be crowned king for all eternity. 

The Root of David comes from a prophecy that Isaiah made: a promise that, even though David’s political kingdom is destined to come to an end, out of the ruins of David’s kingdom a new kind of kingdom will spring: a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, a nation that will become like a mother over a whole family of redeemed nations. 

Well, apparently, this Lion — this Root of David — has now completed his work. He has triumphed! And as his reward, he now has the authority to open this scroll and activate the rest of the history God has planned for this earth. 

So John looks. And he sees…a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. 

John was told to look for a victorious Lion. Instead he sees a Lamb looking as if it had been slain: a lamb that has been sacrificed. 

How is this a triumphant image? Lambs are not strong animals to begin with. Dead ones are even more pathetic. What is going on here? 

And here again, when we ask our Lord for an explanation, he directs us back to the Old Testament, especially to that terrible, glorious night when Moses led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt, safely through the sea and the wilderness to the mountain of God where they were married. At the very center of that darkness stands a lamb that was slain, its blood spilled out into a bowl to be painted on the doorposts of every believing household, so that God’s judgement would pass over them and destroy only those who refused to listen and obey. 

In the original Exodus, victory was won through death. Here it is the same: this Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed over all his enemies by humbling himself and becoming obedient to death — even the death of a lamb. 

And as a result, he has been transformed into something more than just a lamb that has been slain, because: 

The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 

We know from many Old Testament prophecies that horns stand for power, authority, kingship; and that seven stands for completion, perfection. So we are supposed to realize that this Lamb, even though it looks as if it had been slain, somehow at the same time possesses all the glory of complete kingship. 

We also know from Zechariah’s prophecies — and from our time together last week — that the seven eyes of God, the seven spirits of God, and the seven churches of God are all mixed up into one constellation of concepts. So we are also supposed to realize that this Lamb, with its seven eyes, is somehow the embodiment of God and Church; he is king and people; he is before all things and he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that he might have the authority to open this book! 

So [7] he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 

[8] And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 

To be clear: it is just the 24 elders who are holding the harps and the bowls of incense which are the prayers of God’s people, not the four living creatures. 

And this makes sense, based on what we learned from John’s panoramic shot last week: these 24 elders represent the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 disciples of Jesus, the 24 fathers of the complete Church. They are kings called to rule over God’s people, and they are priests called to minister for and to God’s people. 

In Chapter 4 the emphasis was on their kingship: we saw how they are eternally engaged before the throne, giving up their authority to God, and then receiving it back, only to give it up again. 

In Chapter 5 the emphasis is on their priesthood, and on their role as elders. 

If you recall from last week, we noticed that — in the Old Testament — the priestly worship team roster was split up into 24 distinct worship teams. And those worship teams had one main duty: to lead the congregation in singing, accompanied by harps. 

But there was also one time in the Old Testament, during the dedication of Moses’ tabernacle, when the 12 elders over the 12 tribes came one by one to present their tribe’s contributions to the tabernacle. They brought animals for sacrifice, silver dishes of grain mixed with oil, and each elder carried a golden bowl filled with incense. 

Here, John is seeing that those Old Testament examples were really just earthly reflections of a heavenly reality. 

And as a result, we are supposed to realize that the Old Testament liturgy of God’s worship on earth was designed from the beginning to mimic the true worship taking place in God’s presence. 

We are also supposed to realize that, in some strange way, all of these Old Testament events involving priests and elders and sacrifice were actually previews of a kind of worship that was not yet taking place in heaven. 

And we know this because the very next thing John sees is that the twenty-four elders sang a new song. In Chapter 4 we saw how these elders were endlessly engaged in praising God for his act of creation. But now the song changes: 

You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. [10] You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” 

A song praising God for his act of creation — a song that has been sung from the very first moments after creation — has now become a song praising the Lamb for his act of sacrifice and redemption, which took place in Time, in earth’s history. 

In other words, somehow, the death and the resurrection of the Lamb in earth’s history changed the nature of the worship that has been going on in heaven’s history for uncounted ages. 

And when we put it like that…well, to call this ”the great turning point of history” just does not really even begin to capture the…the…the — revolutionary? — nature of this moment. We don’t even have the mental categories, much less the language, to conceptualize a change in the flow of eternity. It is completely baffling and indescribable! 

…and that is all I have to say about that. 

The only thing that helps us accept the baffling reality of this moment is the fact that Zechariah and Isaiah and Ezekiel and several other prophets predicted that it would happen, and even the system of worship set up by Moses contained hints and previews of it. But in all the Old Testament, it was Daniel who came closest to seeing this actual moment: 

Back in Chapter 7 of his book, he also saw a vision of a king setting up his throne upon a field of victory, getting ready to pass judgement upon his enemies that had been captured in the battle. And as Daniel watched, a heavenly being who was also a human being approached the throne, riding in a war-chariot made of clouds. This turned out to be the king’s son, the victorious commander of the king’s armies, and as a reward for his victory, the king’s son was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. And a little later Daniel was told that the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. 

Daniel watched this scene from a distance, so he did not see all of the details that John did. Daniel also watched this scene as a preview of something that had not yet taken place. 

John, however, has just witnessed this scene from up close and personal, in all of its intricate detail. Even more importantly, John has not seen a preview but rather a replay of something that had already taken place 50 or 60 years earlier! 

In fact, John is the only man in history who got to see this event twice, from two different perspectives: 

When he was a youth, probably younger than 20, he had a good friend named Jesus of Nazareth who turned out to be the Messiah, the Saviour the Old Testament prophets had told everyone to look for. Jesus did die like a passover lamb: his blood was spilled, but none of his bones were broken in the process. But he did not stay dead. On the third morning after his crucifixion he returned to his disciples and continued teaching them for the next 40 days. And after he was done teaching, we are told that he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 

John was one of those disciples. He watched, from the perspective of the earth, as his friend Jesus was taken up into his war-chariot made of clouds and carried away into his Heavenly Father’s presence to present his great victory before the throne and receive his reward. 

Now, as an old man, John has just seen this same event from the other side, from the perspective of God’s throne room. 

This is where Jesus went after he was taken up from before the disciples’ eyes; this is what Jesus did when he arrived in his Father’s presence. And as a reward for his victory, he was crowned king over a kingdom of priests from every tribe and language and people and nation, a royal priesthood that will reign on the earth — an exact fulfillment of the preview Daniel saw 600 years earlier. 

[11] Then, John says, I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. [12] In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 

The new song of the elders has become a hit: now a countless army of angels are singing it also. 

But the angels have actually modified this new song by combining it with an old song that King David once sang in the Old Testament. We actually read this song together for our Call to Worship today, you can find it right there at the beginning of our worship guide. 

But what is really interesting about David’s song is when and why he sang it. 

Here is the story: 

God had chosen Solomon to become king after David. David was quite old. So he figured, “Let’s just do this now!” So he called together all the elders of the nation, and he officially resigned — by handing Solomon all of his plans for the temple, the sacred building where God would live with his people. 

But then David turned to the elders and said, “Look, Solomon is young, and I have already spent my personal fortune to finance this project. So you are going to have to help him out.” 

And then the elders of the nation all came forward and contributed hundreds of kilograms of gold and silver and precious stones, just as the elders in Moses’ time had contributed animals and grain and golden bowls of incense to the dedication of the tabernacle. 

David sang his song to celebrate the crowning of his son, and the foundation of God’s temple in Jerusalem. And the ancient chronicle adds that all of the elders joined with David in his worship, and all of the people followed their elders. 

That historical moment was also just a shadow, a preview of this moment, when old song and new song would be combined to celebrate the crowning of God’s Son, and the foundation of God’s eternal temple on earth. And just as in David’s day, the elders worshiped first, and then the rest of God’s people in heaven followed them. 

But the circle of worship does not stop there, because — John says — [13] then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 

[14] The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. 

And this last little bit shows us that John has not just witnessed the great turning point of all history here, he has also witnessed the end of all history, when every creature in the universe will worship the true God. 

And this matches the timeline we find in Daniel’s vision of this moment: Daniel saw the Son of God approach the throne, present his victory to his Father, receive his crown and his kingdom, and then — suddenly — every nation on earth was worshiping him! 

In the same way, John has seen the Son of God approach the throne, present his victory to his Father, receive his crown — along with his Father’s plans for completing his kingdom — and immediately afterward here we find every creature in the universe worshiping him. 

But this can be a bit confusing. Because this makes it seem like the end of the world should have happened immediately after Jesus ascended into heaven to be crowned king. But here we are, 2000 years later, and — as far as I can tell — the nations and creatures of our universe are still not all worshiping the true God. 

Did we miss something? 

No. But something was deliberately left out. Both Daniel’s vision and John’s vision here were given as very brief overviews of the history that will take place from the crowning of Jesus Christ to Judgement Day. The reason these visions are so brief is so that we, as the readers, can focus on the end result of history rather than on the process. 

Now, don’t worry, John is going to get into the process next week. His Book of Revelation is structured just like Daniel’s book in the Old Testament: the visions begin here with an overview, which is then followed by several more cycles that dig into the details of history from several different angles and depths of focus. 

But I do need to say in advance that the process is quite a traumatic one. Which is exactly why we have this overview right at the beginning: as we go forward together through this Book of Revelation, we are going to have to keep on reminding one another that the end result has already been written, that what seems like overwhelming uncertainty and chaos is actually under the Lamb’s perfect control. 

And, in fact, John himself is going to remind us of the end result several times as we go along. In fact, that is probably why God gave him these visions as a series of repeating cycles rather than as one long chronological story: because Jesus knew that one long chronology of future suffering would be too depressing for us to handle! whereas — through this series of cycles — we are going to get to see the great Day of our redemption repeated every few pages throughout the book until the end. 


So…what exactly have we witnessed here today, through John’s eyes? What is the overall significance of this scene? And what are we supposed to do in response? 

This is what we have just witnessed: the great turning point of history, when the destinies of earth and heaven were finally woven together through the lifting up of a human king to rule over eternity. This was the crowning of David’s eternal son and God’s. This was the moment the foundation of God’s eternal temple on earth was laid; this was the moment the great in-gathering of God’s eternal people from every tribe and language and people and nation actually began. 

This is the overall significance: the last 2000 years of earth’s history are all contained here, in this passage, between verses 9 and 13. Events on earth changed heaven’s worship beginning in verse 9; heaven will finish changing earth’s worship when verse 13 is finally fulfilled, when every creature in the universe finally acknowledges Jesus Christ as worthy to rule. This is where we all live, right now: between verses 12 and 13, between the new song of the angels and the closing song of the ages. And the Lamb hold the whole thing in his hand like a book. 

So now we have to ask: what we are supposed to do in response to this truth? What are we supposed to during this extended period between the verses, between the songs, while we wait for the Lamb to finish this Book, close it up, and start writing his final masterpiece? 

Well, our answer is actually right here in verse 9: as the elders began to sing their new song, they explained why the Lamb died to purchase people from every tribe and language and people and nation: “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” 

So there are three things for us to do while we wait for verse 13 to be fulfilled: we are supposed to be a kingdom, we are supposed to be priests, and we are supposed to reign on the earth. 

Okay. That is helpful. 

But what do these three things mean? 

Well, that is actually what the rest of Revelation is all about: as the Lamb begins to break the seals and open up God’s plans for his eternal temple on earth, we are going to see how we fit into those plans as a kingdom, as priests, and as rulers. 

But even here, in this passage, we already have some hints as to what these things mean. 

So, for instance, what does it mean to be a kingdom? 

Well, when we realize that the Lamb’s scroll here is the Eternal Marriage Covenant, replacing the old broken Covenant from Moses’ time; and when we realize that the Lamb’s scroll is also the New Plans for God’s eternal temple on earth, replacing the old broken temple from Solomon’s time…then we realize that being a kingdom means it is our job to be faithful as a bride to the Lamb who purchased our freedom, faithful to the building up of the Lamb’s household, so that we might become like husband and wife, father and mother over a whole new family of redeemed nations. 

What does it mean to be priests? 

Well, when we realize that the Lamb’s scroll is also the eternal Book of Judgement, fulfilling the books sealed by Isaiah and Ezekiel; and when we see the 24 elders fall down before the Lamb with their harps and their golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people…then we realize that being a nation of priests on this earth means singing the new songs of judgement and redemption, and lifting up our prayers before the throne. 

What does it mean that we will reign on the earth? 

Well, when we realize that the Lamb’s scroll here is also the eternal Book of Truth, the complete original Book of History, of which the books of Daniel and Zechariah were just incomplete copies; and when we see the 24 elders continuously falling down and laying their crowns before the throne; and when we realize how the Lamb came to be worthy to open this book and rule over the history it contains…then we realize that we also will reign on the earth in the same way the elders do, in the same way the Lamb did: by giving up to God our rights to rule in this world, and even our rights to life. 

And this is when we realize that we are already reigning on the earth. The Lamb took control of history 2000 years ago: his eternal kingdom began then, his priests began to lead the world in song and prayer then, and their reign — the Church’s reign — over the earth began then. And it is clear that any church that truly belongs to Christ is not called to reign as a lion in this age, but rather: as a lamb led to the slaughter. 


We reign on this earth as lambs led to the slaughter. 

We often forget this truth. We like to believe, as human beings — and especially as God’s children, perhaps — that we are the masters of our own destiny. But now, as we are facing yet another complete lockdown…the truth is obvious: we are not in control. 

Only the Lamb is. Only the Lamb is worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals. It is the Lamb who was sacrificed before us that permits our sacrifice as lambs now. 

And, of course, we are asking: why? Especially in times like this. Because this does not seem fair, does it! We have been good, we have followed all the rules, so now: why should we be punished alongside all those used their power and their position to break the rules? Why should we suffer the judgements for other peoples’ sins? 

Well, in the weeks to come, the Lamb’s Book of Revelation is going to answer these questions for us: 

As the seals are broken, and as the Lamb begins to read, we will confirm that this scroll really is the Book of Truth, the Book of History, confirming that the Lamb truly is in control of all that happens here — and that the end is already written. 

We will also confirm that this scroll really is the Book of the Covenant, which contains our Father’s plans for the building of his Church. And this will confirm for us that the great Exodus of God’s people from Egypt was just a preview of what we are going through now — and that our great Exodus is already guaranteed. 

It will also become very clear that this scroll truly is the Book of God’s Judgements. And we will discover that, just like the people of the first Exodus, we are destined to suffer some of these judgements alongside those in our world who have abused their power and position. We will also discover that the reason the lighter judgements fall upon all of mankind is so that the truth of each person’s heart might be revealed for all to see: 

Those who hate the Lamb will try to hide themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains; they will set up their own golden cows of control over things like pandemics and politics, and then they will call out to those idols to save them from the judgements they know they deserve. 

But those of us whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of the Covenant will be purified. Through these judgements we will learn to live rejoicing in song and in prayer. 

And then, as we keep reading, we will discover that — just as in the first Exodus — most of God’s judgements will actually pass over us. Our sacrifice as lambs is already written, but the suffering we experience will be nothing in comparison to what comes next… 


Friends, the Lamb has led us through the Sea, and closed it behind. He is leading us into the wilderness now. In two days we will be entering a particularly dry part of the desert, a land of rocks and unrelieved heat. Our Saviour has promised to be our shade. He has promised to be our water and our food. He has promised to be our clothing and our shoes that will not wear out as we follow him. And all that is good! That is how we are going to survive. 

But we can also be truthful about this: surviving is not the same as thriving. We have all we need for now, but we have not yet arrived at our eternal home. So it is okay to be discouraged. It is okay to be angry, to be upset. It is okay to be discontent, longing for more: because we have been promised more. It is okay to ask God: why? We are his children, and that is what children do. 

So let me close here with our benediction, this closing exhortation to one another from Hosea, Chapter 6: “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 

Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” 

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