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His Ways Are Not Our Own

Weekly Devotionals

His Ways Are Not Our Own

1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:1-6)

Recently, I find myself busy with school, but in the midst of my studies, there has been a constant reminder of this idea of an upside down kingdom. And in this passage, I am reminded again that the ways of God are simply not our own.

There are different ideas as to what scholars understand the scroll to be, but in it one finds a close association with the idea of redemption. In ancient times when one went into debt that could not be paid they would become a slave to their debtor and also have their property taken from them. The only way one could be freed from debt was by way of redemption, A person who could redeem would be better known as a kinsman redeemer. Therefore, some liken this scroll to a deed of purchase.

The question is then, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” In other words, who is worthy to pay this debt and redeem? Finding no one, John weeps but then is quickly comforted. “behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David”. John turns to look and expects to see a Lion, but instead sees a lamb.

Again, we see a paradox in the life of Jesus. When I think of a lion, I think of honour, might and strength. This image of a lion is contrasted with the image of the slaughtered Lamb. However, He is not portrayed as one that lies helpless but this Lamb is alive and well. He takes the scroll and breaks its seals. The seals then represent to us an inheritance of the kingdom bought through the purchase of his blood.

The Kingdom of God is not what we expect it to be. So often we get caught up in the ways of the world and its values. Jesus did not reclaim his Kingdom by way of force and demonstrations of power, but instead He reclaimed it by the greatest act of sacrifice. The message of the Gospel has been a humbling reality to me. I just want to encourage us again to take a moment to remember the Cross today and draw near to Christ. It’s my prayer for the Church that we would decrease and He would increase in our lives in order that we might walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel.