Good Wednesday morning. Any signs of spring, yet? Other than it is almost light out until 6:00 pm. Remember in December when it was dark at 3:30? There is hope in the air. This weekend, the temps will be in the 30’s again! Yay!
Today, we finish chapter 14 in the Revelation to John.
14 “Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! 15 Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse’s bridle, for a distance of about two hundred miles.
Such imagery! This is the final vision in this chapter and it is a vision of judgment. The images are very familiar to Jews. the first picture comes from Daniel 7: 13-14 “As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a human being
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.
14 To him was given dominion
and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
that shall never be destroyed.”
Then, we have imagery of harvest using metaphors that would be familiar to the Jews.
Joel 3: 14 “Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.”
And Mark 4: 29 “But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
God’s judgment is also like the trampling of the grapes. See Lamentations 1:15 and Isaiah 63:3.
In this passage, the risen Lord would be reaping those who are destined for salvation and the angel would be reaping those destined to condemnation. The amount of blood seems to represent an amount in the tide of judgment that would cover the land. There is no other logical explanation for this. Judgment will be complete.
Blessings on your day,