Friday, 29 January 2021
and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, Revelation 10:6
The words continue from the previous verse where the mighty Angel raised His hand to heaven. John now says, “and swore by Him who lives forever and ever.” Rather than “by,” the Greek reads “in.” He “swore in Him who lives forever and ever.”
As noted in the previous verse, this is something the Lord does in the Old Testament. He will swear by Himself in order to stress the importance of a matter –
“‘But if you will not hear these words, I swear by [Hebrew bi: in] Myself,’ says the Lord, ‘that this house shall become a desolation.’” Jeremiah 22:5
Therefore, the words now conveyed by John do not negate the possibility of the Angel being the Lord Jesus, as some commentaries state. The words “forever and ever” are repeated from earlier in Revelation when speaking of Jesus, such as in verse 4:9, 10; 5:13, 14; and 7:12. It is He “who created heaven and the things that are in it.”
This is Jesus, as noted by Paul in Colossians 1:15 –
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven…”
John continues with, “the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it.” This is Jesus, as noted by Paul in the continuance of Colossians 1:15 –
“…and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
The reason for swearing in this manner is to demonstrate the absolute surety of the statement to come. Just as the Lord has created all things in heaven and in earth by His own power and wisdom, so He is in control over those things. What He will speak is as certain to us as the nature of the very universe He spoke into existence. And even more certain because it is a result of His word. And the oath He makes is “that there should be delay no longer.”
The Greek literally reads, “time no longer shall be.” Various interpretations have arisen as to the meaning of this. One is that time, as it now exists, will end. In other words, the eternal state will commence. Another is that presented by the NKJV, “there should be delay no longer.”
The second is correct. However, even that is then debated. Is it referring to an end to a time of repentance? Is it that when the seventh trumpet is sounded (see next verse) the end of the time set forth will come?
What may be the case is that the angel is responding to the call made back in verse 6:10 –
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”
The answer to their question was that “they should rest a little while longer.” The Angel’s oath now may be that the time to avenge their blood has come. It is hard to be dogmatic over the words as they are future to us now. However, because of the fact that the oath is made by the Lord Himself, that which is promised will surely come to pass.
Life application: What is seen here is a binding oath. It is one that reflects the very nature of God, who is everlasting. As the Creator, he existed before the creation and He will endure for all time, throughout eternal ages. The vow is eternal in nature and cannot be changed.
If this vow refers to the opportunity for repentance, it indicates that there is only a short time left to turn to righteousness. When the judgments arrive, it will be too late. With that thought in mind, it should be noted that each human already faces such a deadline. In reality, we don’t know the moment of our death. It could be today in an accident or by the stopping of our heart. We could be killed by an intruder or choke on our dinner. We simply don’t know the time of our end, and therefore we must be ready at every moment for the Lord to come for us. Let us be found ready.
And to be found ready means to be right with God. To be right with God is to have faith in His provision. And that provision is only found in the giving of His Son for our sin. Be right with God today. Call out to Him through JESUS.
Lord God, we have a date to meet You that was set before the creation of the world. And we do not know when that moment will arrive. Each of us is destined to stand before You in judgment. In Your wisdom, You created us and have allowed us to decide which path we will follow. May we make the right decision that is pleasing to You by calling out to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins now. Help us to be wise in this. Amen.