WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Human history is, in one sense, simply a record of God’s patience in not destroying our rebellious race.
- The first two humans God created rejected the single restriction He gave them in all of paradise. Their sin polluted them and God’s perfect creation. It also polluted their offspring. Their first child murdered their second. God evicted the first family from the garden but delayed the destruction they deserved.
- As mankind multiplied, so did its depravity until “the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time” (Gen 6:5). He washed the world clean in the flood, but delayed its destruction and started over with Noah.
- As the new population spread again, it banded together to declare its independence from its Creator, saying, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name” (Gen 11:4). God dispersed them but delayed the final judgment.
- The Lord chose from the rebellious race a tiny nation to display as an example of the blessing He wanted to give the world. He selected them “so that they might be my people for my fame, praise, and glory, but they would not obey” (Jer 13:11). He exiled them from the promised land but, again, delayed the fullness of His wrath.
- Finally, after the human race had rejected millennia of His overtures to them, God sent His own beloved Son – and they crucified Him! Still He delayed the annihilation you and I would have rained down upon such a people.
There are two things that are very important for us to know about this delay:
- Though it is long, it is not forever – “the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Pet 3:7)
- Its purpose is to bring as many as are willing into God’s eternal kingdom – “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3: 9).
In today’s passage, John is shown the day on which a mighty angel will make an earth-shattering proclamation:
“He swore by Him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay!’” (Rev 10:6 NIV).
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – That day is coming, dear friends. Our compassionate God has delayed it for countless generations, and He has delayed it for us – until He could bring you and me into His grace and His salvation.
The delay remains in place today, but it’s no longer for us. No, indeed. The best thing He could do for you and me is to take us to be with Him in heaven right now. His current delay is for the sake of others whom He loves as much as He does us. He is leaving us here to be His partners in bringing them in. By the mercies of God, how can we resist working with Him to extend the grace that He so patiently extended to us?
Let’s band together to be his witnesses and to shine as lights to a dark and desperate world.