Obadiah Revelation 9
“The other people who were not killed by these terrible disasters still did not change their hearts and turn away from what they had made with their own hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—things that cannot see or hear or walk. These people did not change their hearts and turn away from murder or evil magic, from their sexual sins or stealing.” (Revelation 9:20-21 NCV)
Revelation 9 details some of the most horrific events imaginable. The first of the two woes described is so agonizing that people who didn’t have the seal of God longed for death, but death took a 5 month holiday. Then came the army that brought death, and what terror those deaths wrought: they were burned by fire; they were choked by smoke; they were poisoned by sulfur. A third of mankind died while two thirds suffered the effects, but continued living. In the midst of the agony, though, those who remained alive refused to change their hearts and return to God.
What would it take for some people to return to God? I wonder about that sometimes. I see people go through terrible times when it seems like everything’s going wrong. They not only don’t turn back to God, they blame Him for their woes, even when the problems are a result of their own actions. Rather than seek forgiveness and mercy from the One who stands ready to show them His love and grace, they shake their fists in God’s face and accuse Him of doing wrong. On the other hand, we see people on death row who, whether they believe they were convicted rightly or wrongly are turning to Christ. A recently executed man’s last words were “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” We could debate the rightness or the wrongness of his conviction and sentence, but his last words were a statement of faith and forgiveness. He was confident of his relationship with Jesus – a relationship discovered and grown on death row. Facing death, he turned to Christ. He was at peace facing death and went peacefully into eternity. Meanwhile, I have many friends who have no peace in this life and no hope of heaven because they continue to reject Christ. I wonder what it would take for them to come to faith in God while I pray for them.
Lord, so many people deal with troubles by blaming You when they should turn to You. I pray for these people today and ask that You show them Your love in a way they can understand.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.