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December 13, 2023 - Revelation 8-9

Now, the seven trumpets.  This is bad stuff.  All sorts of plagues and judgments, and even so, John writes:  “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood . . . nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (9:20,21).   It’s pretty amazing, but not unexpected if someone reads the Bible carefully, that people refused to turn from their sins even in the face of all these judgments.

 

In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 1, the Lord spoke through the prophet and asked, “What more can I do?  I have disciplined Israel from head to toe, but still she does not repent.”  From the New Testament and from history many other examples can be given!  It’s all a testimony to the hardness of the human heart; so hard that only a gracious work of God’s Spirit can break it and soften it.  And how graciously he has done so in our hearts and in so many others.  “Thank you, Lord, for not leaving us alone in my wickedness and hardness of heart.”  And in Him, amidst all the judgments, we find our help!

 

O God, our Help in ages past,

our Hope for years to come,

our Shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal Home.

 

Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

sufficient is Thine arm alone,

and our defense is sure.   -- Isaac Watts (1719)

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