We have difficulty understanding the symbolic language in Revelation, but there are some clear and dramatic statements of the divine intentions for the future. Chapter 11 is a particularly outstanding example; the vision of 24 elders “who fell on their faces and worshipping God saying, ‘We give thanks to you Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth’” (verses 16-18). Note how the “small” are mentioned first.

Let us “give thanks” that the Creator of all things is exercising the ultimate control and destiny of all things. However, He allows human beings to exercise their free will, foreseeing what that will lead to in the short and long term, before it is time (His time) to exercise his “great power”.

In Isaiah 50 there are appropriate personal words of encouragement to put alongside this vision in Revelation. “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught” (verse 4). Let us awaken each morning with words (influencing our subsequent thoughts) from the word of God.

Finally, verse 10 has a question for us; “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? (Chapter 52:13,14 makes it clear “my servant” is Jesus). Back to verse 10, “Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God”. Our world is full of darkness, so we absolutely must do this.