Verse 10 encouraged John not to hide away the words of God. No lamp is to be lit and then covered up. Jesus said that in a parable. The words and lessons of God are to be held aloft, illuminating paths through life. Fastened behind that command is the following pair of verses.
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12-13–ESV)
The broad meaning is that God will reward us for the good things we have done, but I stumble over that word soon. Since John saw these visions, literally billions of people1 have come and gone. What does the word soon mean for each of those? What did the word soon mean for them? He did not come while they were alive. They sort of went in his direction, but does that count? Is that how we are to interpret this passage?
When my mind faces this question, it conjures little suspicions of trickery. The doubts are not full-blown, but wispy. Full-blown would mean I was telling God he was wrong and that is never safe territory to tread. [Read more…]