Revelation 15 is a foreboding, intense prelude. Its chief players are God, his ministers of a final destruction and the human witnesses who had died or in some manner been abused by Satan’s evil earth network. John is no player in this, but in telling us these prophetic visions is pre-testifying to final events.
God is love but his wrath remains real
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. (Revelation 15:1–ESV)
Humanity loves to talk of God’s love which is chief among the traits we know of God. It makes all the difference underwritting our hope of eternal life. God’s grace, his tendency toward patience and long-suffering are clearly taught in scripture and experienced in our lives, but we also see that those traits can run dry exposing other foreboding, heavy traits. Wrath, anger, judgment, punishment are latent in God but ever ready. They are produced or evoked by the rebellion of humans.
Some fury on Fury’s Ferry Road (a.k.a. I have hidden traits too…)
Have you ever been driving down the road having a nice time with your thoughts only to have that time whipsawed in another direction? I have. For background I need to invoke Hurricane Irma. After this weather event roared up through Florida it brought a bit of its wrath to Augusta, Georgia. My Augusta house had small branches and stuff down all over the place. We were out of power for 18 hours, etc., etc. The etc., etc., is nothing like the experience in Florida or the less remembered, but as devastating floods Hurricane Harvey dumped on Houston. Still it was my world and we had to deal with our own power issues and the like.
Since I also have a house at our nearby lake and since the lake storms usually exceed the Augusta storms I needed to go see how that house had fared. So I popped into my orange Toyota Tacoma and out to the lake I went. Some “too contented” fellow in an old red truck was driving in the left lane slowing me down a little, but I was able to pass him on his right, and he disappeared behind me. As I neared the bridge over the Savannah River, though, I came up on more traffic. My brain only snorted a tiny bit thinking, “A little further on Mr. 18-wheeler, and I’ll pass you around the bridge.” As the road began descending toward the bridge he was able to speed up. “Good, sometimes these trucks make good speed,” went my observations as we trended toward 65+.
Still I intended to pass as there are hills and trucks up hills are not the same as trucks down hills. I slid just a little to the left to see if there was oncoming traffic. “Yep, better not pass,” went my observations. First car went by and I slid over again. “Car there, I can probably make it, but better wait,” went that thought and I slid back over. I noticed a pickup and trailer in front of the 18 wheeler, though. Now that pickup was still up there a bit, but “how fast is he going?” Somehow I noticed his speed was short of “normal.” Well, me and my rate limiting 18-wheeler came up and got stuck behind this 45 miler and his trailer. “Man, I have a long way to my turn off and we are going like what? 45 miles an hour? Uhhhh. Great!” Passing an 18 wheeler AND a pickup with his trailer is another whole animal on a road dominated by curves. See by this time we’d passed over that long, staight, wide bridge. Then, as if to poke my annoyance a little more, the red pickup I passed actually caught up with me! Really?!
Well, little by little the happy moment of motoring out to the lake on a beautiful morning began to dim. Something said, “Hey, there is no rush it’s ok to putt along a bit slower. Maybe the person in the pickup is just a content guy.” That little voice stayed dim and was answered by, “Yeah, but I have things to do, maybe more than I realize.” Well, maybe voices in your head argue with each other too. Mine kept arguing and my foot kept saying, “faster, faster,” but my eyes kept seeing that slower pickup + trailer + 18 wheeler.
“Oh, here is another stretch where I can see a long way and the broken yellow line is on my side.” I reached down and pushed the button on my dash telling my truck to use all 6 of its cylinders. No cars were coming and around I went. 1 As I drew up beside the fellow in the pickup I glanced (not a full look or a glare or anything, just a glance!) over and decided he was a satisfied, happy old guy minding his own business.
As I eased past the driver’s door and up by his left from wheel some other neurons fired off in my brain though. Do you know what they were? They were signals from my brain to my right arm and they said, “HONK!” You see, shouldn’t that fellow know the inconvenience he is causing! I didn’t honk. Honking was the wrong thing to do. I sort of knew that at the same time as I knew I wanted to tell him his behavior was a problem. As I kept driving toward the lake my eyes kept looking up at the rear-view mirror. “Wow! look how far back that curve goes and he hasn’t even come around it yet.” Then later on, “Hmmmm, he is so far back there that other cars can pull out into the road. He isn’t even there to be seen.” I think I even felt sorry for the driver of the 18 wheeler whose acceleration probably would not be enough to zip by that putting along pickup. The red pickup? Well, I did not think of him until I was revising this lesson.