Revelation 9

It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. What that means is that people look to God when things get bad. But is that really true? Revelation 9 presents a compelling argument against it. Here we see two more trumpets blown, and unimaginable judgment. Locusts suggest a plague of some kind, especially since these locusts won’t attack the vegetation, instead attacking human beings who have not been sealed by God. While the locusts bring pain and a desire for death, death doesn’t come until the sixth trumpet. The composite nature of the locusts and the horses are meant to be nightmarish, and probably relate to various threats in that day and time (like the Parthian army). Even though Satan has a hand in this (9:9), God is the one who is allowing it, because the time has been fulfilled (9:15).

While we can debate various matters of interpretation, I believe that there is a universal theological lesson here: there are atheists in foxholes! The ones who don’t know God won’t turn to him, because they love their sin and refuse to let go of it: “they did not repent” (9:21). Such is human depravity, even in the midst of judgment and horror.

Romans 3:10-18 “just as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one. Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”

How then can people be saved? How can people turn to God? With God’s help! Because of His grace!

Ephesians 2:4-9 “But God being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved!—and he raised us up together with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

2 thoughts on “Devotional reading for December 18, 2022

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