Monday, October 25, 2004

Ruler of the Land and Sea

“Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘There will be no more delay!’” (Revelation 10:5-6)

The image of God’s angel standing with one foot on the land and one foot on the sea was a vivid reminder for God’s people that Rome did not rule the world, God did. The perception that people can “rule the world” by their might or wealth existed before the rise of the Roman Empire, and exits even since its fall. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote in “A Discourse of the Invention of Ships, Anchors, Compass, &c.,” “Whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.” That’s just wrong. Wealth doesn’t determine rule. The one who created wealth created everything, and it is by the nature of creation that he rules the world.

The Revelation of John reminds us that the creator of the land and sea – and everything in them – is active in the world even now, and will cause this heaven and earth to pass away. Rome would not submit voluntarily to the rule of God in its day. That was a problem. It’s a problem now for you, too, if you don’t voluntarily submit. It’s true that no one wants to submit to a cruel dictatorship. Jesus is so loving, so merciful, and so willing to bear your burdens, though. Give the right to rule your life to the one who created you and cares for you. Eternal life will be your inheritance. He rules in heaven, too, after all. That’s Life at Work!

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