Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quote For the Day

I thought this paragraph from Dennis Johnson's commentary on the third horse in the book of The Revelation further reminds us of the judgments of this age as opposed to the judgment in the age to come.
There is, however, a limit to this judgment, as there is to all God's providential judgments as long as God's patience delays final judgment (2 Peter 3:9, Rom 2:3-4). Limitations of various kinds distinguish restricted, anticipatory expressions of the wrath of the lamb throughout history from the unrestrained display of His judgment at the end of history. Here famine affects grains but does not harm oil or wine. The rider of the fourth horse will be able to inflict death over only 1/4 of the earth (Rev 6:8). At the sounding of the first four trumpets fiery plagues will fall on 1/3 of the earth, sea, rivers and springs, and sky (8:7-12). This feature of limited judgments is an interpretive key and an encouragement to besieged churches. When we see in John's visions restrained and partial judgment, we are being shown symbols of the course of ordinary history between the comings of Christ. The dangers ad disasters that shatter and dismantle arrogant , Rome civilizations (in John's day, Rome), which are symbolized in the four horsemen and most of the trumpets, are the Lamb's providential instruments of prewrath wrath and prejudgment justice, foreshadowing the end when God's victory over His enemies will be total. As Christians see societies crumble and collapse, our response should not be terrified alarm, as though our security were bound up with a fragile human network of law and order, but anticipation and confidence: the Lamb is now on the throne, with God's plan for history firmly in hand.
Revelation reminds us that there is a purpose in the events in history and that all things are uder the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I am very thankful that God's final judgment has been delayed. So while we may witness terrible judgments in this present evil age, as Christians, we know these judgments shall soon pass and give way to the final judgment and the age to come.

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