Rebecca Van Noord
Ezekiel 24:1–25:17; Revelation 11:15–12:17; Job 36:1–12
We sometimes jump on the bandwagon with politics. Yet if we put our full trust in political candidates, or believe their rise to power is an indication of our future—a common campaign platform—we’re putting our hope in something transitory. No earthly person or kingdom has absolute rule. The book of Revelation portrays this in a surprising way.
In the last book of the Bible, God’s judgment is loosed, and it can be overwhelming to read and interpret. Six trumpets, blown consecutively by angels, unleash God’s judgment. When the seventh trumpet blows, we expect judgment to be set in motion yet again. Instead, a loud voice from heaven announces a different, glorious event: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15).
This seems like a strange turn of events, but it’s the culmination of plans and actions that have been happening all along. The initiation of God’s kingdom is prophesied throughout the Bible, and it is presented in John’s vision to bring hope. All of God’s judgments have a purpose. They terminate an old way of life to usher in a new one—a life guided by the eternal reign of God.
In some ways, the arrival of God’s kingdom is a judgment—it’s a judgment on all other kingdoms. John’s vision would have been a comforting reminder to the early church that the kingdoms of this age are transitory. Their flawed, corrupt rule is not forever. And while the kingdoms of the world come and go, God’s kingdom will never end.
We can be hopeful, then, in hopeless situations. We need not feel morose or hopeless when the factions and kingdoms of the world struggle and disappoint. God’s eternal kingdom—His exclusive, righteous rule—is our hope.
How are you living like a member of God’s kingdom, not the kingdom of this world?
This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.