The section of Revelation is all about war – the inevitability of armed conflict until eventually there is the time when God comes to judge the Earth; often referred to as the Apocalypse:- just read verses 12-17 below in the ‘Message’ translation
I watched while he ripped off the sixth seal: a bone-jarring earthquake, sun turned black as ink, moon all bloody, stars falling out of the sky like figs shaken from a tree in a high wind, sky snapped shut like a book, islands and mountains sliding this way and that. And then pandemonium, everyone and his dog running for cover—kings, princes, generals, rich and strong, along with every commoner, slave or free. They hid in mountain caves and rocky dens, calling out to mountains and rocks, “Refuge! Hide us from the One Seated on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb! The great Day of their wrath has come—who can stand it?”
There are many interpretations of the first 5 seals, most linking these prophecies to events in the 100 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Most of us in the ‘West’ have not experienced major conflict in our lifetime, but this is an exception if you look back through our history. Any of course many other parts of the world are at war, with civil war (as in Syria) being the most tragic. Why, oh why, do we have to fight? Blessed are those who work for peace.
We should also remember – the 5th seal – that many Christians have died and die every day for their faith. The Open Doors Group (supported by St Peter’s) estimated that 7000 Christians died for their faith in 2014/2015; just a little less than one every hour.
What can we do when faced with such horrors? Firstly we should not hide from reality but recognise that a Holy God allows fallen humans to create havoc even though he yearns for each person to hear his knock and open their hearts to His mercy, recognising that He sent his only Son to die for mankind. Secondly we can bring peace to our home, school and community in how we care for people who suffer; lots of little things add up. Thirdly we can pray for the work of organisations like Open Doors; why not sign their petition – ‘One Million Voices of Hope’ today.
Dear Lord, please help me to be a true ambassador for peace wherever I am, always sharing the cross of Jesus as the only way to find true peace. AMEN