September 9, 2021
Scripture: “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. Revelation 11:3, 12 ESV
Observation: As John’s revelation of the end times intensifies, a voice from heaven tells him that God will send two men to prophesy against the hardhearted people that remain on earth. Over a three-and-one-half-year period, the two men employ supernatural powers to verify the validity of their testimony. Then the beast rises and kills them, and their bodies are publically displayed for three and one-half days while crowds gawk over their dead bodies and celebrate their riddance. But their gloating is short-lived. Suddenly, “a breath of life from God” resurrects them, and the crowds who gloated over their demise now tremble in fear. Finally, a voice from heaven commands the two men to rise and come to their Lord. And so they ascend in a cloud (echoing Jesus’ ascension).
Takeaway: Rise up! We will face many challenges in our Christian journey that will, from time to time, flatten us on our backs. And while death is inevitable, we serve the One who is the “Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25) and who has prepared a place for us in his Father’s kingdom (John 14:2). So, whatever persecution or hardship we may face in our service to God, at the proper time, he will exalt us (1 Peter 5:6).
Prayer: Father God, grant us your grace to press through the ridicule and hostility we may face as we faithfully serve you, being confident in your Son’s promise of our resurrection and future home with you. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling