The book of Revelation is an incredible book and a book that most people avoid. Why do you think that is? Think about it in your own life, if you were to read only one book in the Bible to encourage you to worship God and to lift you up, which one would you choose? I bet you are thinking Psalms – with it’s incredible poetry, or Acts – the birthing of the Church or the Gospels with the story of Jesus’ life, or perhaps Genesis with the incredible life stories of Joseph, Abraham and the men and women of faith. What would you say to me if I told you that now after six years of studying this incredible book, I would choose to read the book of Revelation for encouragement, hope and to understand true worship?
I know that most Christians believe that Revelation is a weird anomaly at the end of the Bible, a book that is one of a kind, but Revelation sits securely in a very common genre of its time. That genre is called Apocalyptic literature. Today the word “Apocalyptic” brings up every weird and wonderful image that our culture, movies and the internet provide. We have been conditioned to hear this word and hear hell, fire, damnation and the cataclysmic terror of the end of the world. But in this Deep Dive, I want to set the record straight about how common the book of Revelation would have been to its original audience, they would have understood its message from beginning to end.
In Exodus 15:26, God declares, ‘For I am the LORD who heals you ’. The weary and thirsty Hebrews are complaining as they find the waters of a pool, that offered hope, to be bitter. God’s answer is to put a type of the Cross, the tree that Moses is directed to throw in, into the situation. 1 Peter 2:24 ‘who Himself bore ours sins in His own body on the tree that we having died to sins might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed’. The Lord uses this situation to reveal Himself as the Healer to His people, when they hear and respond to Him both through His word and voice.