I have to admit, I needed to read Dr. Wright’s commentary on this passage a couple of times before I could actually believe it. Even though his argument was clearly compelling, I couldn’t get over the sick feeling in my stomach. How could the slaughter of so many be a cause for rejoicing? Why would God kill so many on the Earth? I assume it’s to spare them the judgments to come…but wow. And I assume this “reaping” is the tremendous persecution Christians endured at the hand of Rome until the conversion of the Emperor and subsequent acceptance of Christianity in 313. But I still have such a hard time seeing that in terms of something to celebrate like you would celebrate an annual crop harvest.
But then, perhaps I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. Since Christians on Earth during this time period faced such tremendous hardship, maybe their deaths are a mercy. Perhaps bringing them to heaven quickly is a much better alternative than leaving them hanging (literally) where they were.
I wonder how many of the things in Revelation we find difficult to understand make perfect sense when we change our perspective. Even more broadly, how many of the things in our every day lives make perfect sense from the heavenly perspective.
Lord, show me your perspective when I don’t understand.