Rarely on my blog do I venture into the highly debated passages of Scripture, but I was so impressed with the thirteenth chapter from D. A. Carson’s book, ‘The God Who is There,’ that I felt I would be selfish to not share this.
Carson walks his readers through an exposition of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. He describes this as one of the horrific chapters of the Bible. You’ll recall, in this chapter, the reader comes face to face with a very angry God. So angry, that we see Him pour forth the full measure of His wrath.
John uses the imagery of wine-making to explain how terrible this wrath is. During the time of the writing of this book, it was common to water wine down to stretch it out a bit. A decent wine would consist of three parts water to one part wine… but a very cheap person would dilute his wine with as much as ten parts water. You can see this play out well in Jesus’ first miracle. Remember? “You saved the best for last!”
I’m told that the Jewish people would not drink undiluted wine. They considered it barbaric. But in John’s account of his vision, God’s wrath here is described as full strength. The destruction, gore, and blood described in these verses sends the reader running rapidly back to John 3:16 and 14:1 to find comfort from the imagery of this God who is bent on demonstrating His anger!
And that brings me to my point. How often do we stop and consider that this anger described in these debated verses is the very anger and wrath that Jesus endured on the cross. The full measure of God’s judgement fell upon our Savior as He bore our sins on the tree!
One of Carson’s ego-deflating quotes shows up as a point in this chapter. He says, “Any Christian who teaches on these things without tears is betraying Jesus.”
I am confident I will never read the book of Revelation the same again. I highly recommend this book by Carson. I would list it as a must-read!