It will stick that way!
Did you mom ever say to you, “Don’t do that with your face. What if it sticks that way?” While that threat scares some faces back to normal, it seems that most kids don’t fear getting stuck too much. We all sort of figure out our faces don’t freeze. If they did, how many more remarkable faces would we be surrounded by, right?
Truth is often spoken in jest
Moms surely don’t believe their kid’s faces will lock up with some ridiculous gaze upon them. Even so, foolish or silly faces reflect the childish ways. Mom-lectures partly aim at training up a child the way they should go. The years of upbringing often write behavior patterns which “stick that way.”
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Revelation 22:10-11–ESV)
A quick glance at verse 11 may leave a sense of indifference. That sense gave me pause for the larger Biblical context does not promote live-and-let-live or laissez-faire in matters spiritual. The correct way to interpret the four phrases of verse 11 seems to extend from the implication of verse 10.
Verse 10 concludes with the angel’s urgent warning: “the time is near.” We must seize opportunities as they come along, and while each of us is alive, God’s offer of salvation remains. The words of this prophetic book were to be held open, kept on display so that people may see, hear, know and respond.
That is crucial for eventually, the veil of death catches everyone, and after death, the ways of life and living will “stick that way.” Choices made in life for evil will freeze through death into eternity. Righteous manners will warm through death into ongoing styles. That is what this pair of verses means.
So imagine a spiritual mom saying, “Make good choices,” or “Lookout for your attitude,” it will stick that way.
Hide it under a bushel? No!
That line is a lyric from the song This little light of mine. If you have not grown up under much Christian influence, that lyric may not make much sense. It means that we are to take God’s words and put them on display. We are not to hear the good news that Jesus died for us and then keep it to ourselves. Neither are we to keep the good news that he rose from the grave and is alive to ourselves. Easter is for everyone.
The book of Revelation was not to be hidden away on the Isle of Patmos but shared with the billions yet to come. The angel says, “Do not seal up,” and means put it on display. Do not hide God’s words. We are part of those billions. God considers it important. We need to as well.