Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for September 7th

The Time of Vengeance

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood? Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

Rev 6:9-11

This group of martyrs is clearly identified with the great multitude in chapter 7, where John sees a great crowd which no man could number, from every tribe, nation, and language of earth, standing before the throne, all having been killed for their testimony. This group belongs to that multitude as well, for they are given a white robe and told to wait until their brethren would also be killed.

Notice the prayer these martyrs pray. It is a call for vengeance. That is quite different from the prayer Christians are expected to pray for their enemies, is it not? Jesus told us that we are to pray for those that despitefully use us and persecute us, and our prayer is to reflect the prayer that he prayed on the cross, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do, (Luke 23:34 KJV). When Stephen, the first martyr, saw the Lord as he was being stoned, he said to him, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60 KJV). He is asking that his murderers be forgiven, for they do not know what they are doing. That is to be the prayer of believers today for those who persecute them or take unfair advantage of them.

I heard on the radio an interesting interview with Rachel Saint, the sister of Nate Saint, one of the five men martyred in Ecuador in 1956 as they attempted to communicate with the Auca Indians. Later Rachel Saint and her companions went back to that tribe and lived among these killers. They served them, and loved them, and taught the gospel to them until they won to Christ the very man who had killed Rachel's brother. The interviewer asked her, Why did you go back into this tribe? She said, Because in the Indian culture they lived for vengeance, but as a Christian, I knew that forgiveness is our message for those who injure us. Most of that tribe became Christians through the faithful ministry of these women.

But these martyrs under the fifth seal are not living in days when God patiently endures the injustices of men. These are days of judgment; days when wrong doers are being called to account, the time of vengeance. The prayers, then, of God's people reflect the mind of God at that time. Led by the Spirit, they pray for what God intends to do during the last days.

Father, you are God of both love and justice. I thank you that in the end you will glorify yourself through your vengeance. Amen.

Life Application

Is there someone in your life for whom you might pray, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge"?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Four Terrible Horsemen

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