Sunday, 29 August 2021
And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. Revelation 21:26
John just noted that the gates of New Jerusalem will not be shut at all by day. Now, in accord with that, he continues by saying, “And they shall bring the glory of and the honor of the nations into it.” The words here continue to follow after the words of Isaiah 60:11 when referring to the millennial reign of Christ –
“Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
They shall not be shut day or night,
That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
And their kings in procession.”
In John’s words, the verb is impersonal. It simply means that whoever comes into the gates will, by entering, bring the glory and honor of their nation into New Jerusalem. It is a way of saying that they who enter are the redeemed of the Lord. This was conveyed by Jesus in Matthew 28 –
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
Not only were Jews to be considered acceptable, but a New Covenant implies a new order of things. In this, God demonstrated that people would be brought into this covenant in the same manner as Abraham was brought in, long before the introduction of the law – by faith – and that it would be inclusive of all nations. This is further noted in Revelation 5:9, which says –
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”
The words demonstrate that those who have been redeemed by the Lord, through His shed blood, are considered precious. This is regardless as to race, color, ethnicity, or any other distinction. Those who enter New Jerusalem are the glory and honor of the nations, even if in this current life we are often lowly and despised.
Life application: This verse closely repeats what was seen in verse 24 – “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” Such repetitions will often reveal to us hidden patterns within the text. This pattern is called a chiasm.
A chiasm is a pattern that goes in one direction and then turns around and repeats an idea in the opposite direction. There are countless chiasms in the Bible, some spanning chapters and even books or combinations of books. They are a literary form that God uses to show us a concept and how it reveals a particular thought He is conveying.
Chiasms will often be anchored on a center verse, such as the one noted below. The two “a” sections are speaking of the Lamb – first being the “light of God” and second, the One who controls life. The connection between “life and light” is a concept that is often spoken about in the Bible. The “b” section is a contrast between those who are “saved” and will walk in the light and those who are in darkness by defilement; a thought similar to the “light and life” concept in the “a” section. The “c” section revolves around those who will bring their glory and honor into the New Jerusalem. The “x” section reaffirms the notion of eternal light and that because of this the gates will never be closed.
It should be noted that the “gates” of the New Jerusalem are mentioned ten times in this chapter. Therefore, they are a highlight of the overall chapter and thus are very important to the theme of the city. The importance is then highlighted by this short chiasm.
a. The glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
—-b. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light.
——–c. And the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
———— x. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
——– c. And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
—- b. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie.
a. But only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
When studying your Bible, (which you should do every morning when you wake up and every evening before you sleep, and also throughout the day such as when traveling, waiting in a doctor’s office, eating lunch, sitting on the beach, driving your car (audio only!), having afternoon break in the park, etc.) take time to look for such patterns in the Bible and then think on them and contemplate why they are there and what God is telling us. There are rich and wonderful treasures hidden in God’s word and we should be attentive to them. He is giving us insights into His mind.
If you’d like to review the chiasms compiled at the Superior Word website, go to the search bar and type in “chiasm.” It will bring up a lengthy page of such treasures. In the end, God is conveying to us wonderful truths concerning His working in and through creation in order to reconcile us to Himself. And He is doing this through the giving of His Son, our Lord JESUS.
How splendid is Your word, O God. Thank You for the treasures You have hidden in it which give us insights into what You intend for us to know. Thank You for all of the wonderful gifts You give us. How can we do anything but thank You for all we receive. Amen.