God gets beaten up by a guy with a dislocated hip!
Good Monday Morning to this week 40/2018
Jacob is moving house. His wife and 11 sons have gone ahead of him. Suddenly, without any explanation, he’s wrestling with a man. The fight goes on all night. The man knows he’s losing, so he somehow magically wrenches Jacob’s hip out of place. Jacob says he won’t let go until the man blesses him, so the man does that, and then admits that, in fact, he’s God. “Therefore to this day,” says the Bible, “the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.”
In the end, God wins! Jesus is the incontestable champion! His story is THE end-well story . . . and His story becomes our story when we believe. He’s the hope of humanity and the best news we must share. His Kingdom is on the move and will be healed, restored and renewed.
Revelation belongs to a category of literature called apocalypse, popular 200 years before and after Christ. This literary form is found in Daniel and a few other books in the Bible. Apocalyptic literature originated during times of persecution and was intended to encourage readers during their trials.
Apocalyptic language employed dramatic visions often interpreted by an angel. It referred to past events to show that God’s grace could be counted upon in the present and future. Apocalyptic literature dealt with contemporary events. It offered picturesque descriptions of the struggle of good against evil, with assurances that good would triumph.
In addition to the main theme that God triumphs over evil, many other important lessons are taught in Revelation. God the Father is adored as Creator of all. Jesus is proclaimed as Savior and worshiped as divine. The Holy Spirit touches the lives of believers. The perfection of the Trinity is displayed through symbols of wisdom, power, holiness, and majesty. The universe is God’s handiwork, subject to his Providence. Mary stands radiant in heaven as Mother of Christ; her life and victory foreshadow that of the Church. The Saints join us in prayer and worship. Angels exist, worship God with us, and protect us. People have free will and can sin; God will vindicate the just, but the guilty will suffer. God does not view earth’s events as a disinterested bystander but invites us to accept grace and salvation. Christ in glory is close to his Church. He is one with believers and acts on their behalf. As Christ suffered, so too must we, always with hope of the next step of renewal and restoration. Christ rejects lukewarmness and urges us to follow him with all our hearts. He expects us to be courageous in challenging false values in society or government. Revelation teaches us to trust God, who brings us through every trial, even death, to eternal life.
Revelation acknowledges the struggles we have undergone, but it also assures us that God’s love and salvation are the greatest powers in the universe. No matter how badly human beings have failed, no matter how terrible the wounds sin may inflict on the world, no matter how desperate our situation may seem, God will prevail.
Victory is not complete, but it is certain. In this week of faith and always, Revelation and the entire Bible invite us to trust God and enter His Kingdom.
He will dwell with them as their God; they will be His people. … He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the former things have passed away. The One Who was seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new. … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end”
Ps: I just come back from a two-hour session at the dentist, no wonder I am thinking of end times and new beginnings! The end didn’t come and I will soon enjoy a new beginning.
Have a great week!