Revelation 10–12 and Psalm 25
It has already been very rewarding to read Revelation with the Psalms ringing in my ears. And I hope it has been the same for you. When I suggested that we read through Revelation each week alongside one Psalm that corresponds to the calendar date, I did not know ahead of time exactly how the two books would connect. But each day so far has yielded a wonderful treasure.
In today’s Psalm reading, David “lifts his soul” to God in a prayer for deliverance from his enemies, both for himself and for his people.
O my God, in you I trust;
Let me not be put to shame;
Let not my enemies exult over me (Psa 25:2)
The Psalm ends with a single, comprehensive prayer:
“Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles” (Psa 25:22).
God’s redemption of his people is precisely what takes place in Revelation 12. The “woman” who bears the “male child, one who is to rule” (Rev 12:5) is Israel, who flees into the wilderness to escape the “dragon,” Satan and his diabolical forces (12:9). The dragon continues to seek to destroy the woman/Israel, but God continues to rescue her out of trouble (12:13–16). So the dragon goes off “to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (12:17).
In Revelation 11 there is a similar situation regarding God’s “two witnesses.” At the end of their ministry, the beast rises from the bottomless pit and kills the witnesses (Rev 11:7). Their slain bodies lie in the street and all of their enemies exult over them (11:10; cf. Psa 25:2). But God raises them up, taking them to glory in the sight of all. This stunning resurrection is followed by a destroying earthquake that kills thousands of God’s enemies and causes others to glorify the God of heaven (11:13).
Will there be followers of Christ on earth during the Tribulation? Absolutely! Even if you believe, as I do, that the rapture of the church precedes the Tribulation, the Lord continues to save people during the seven years of Tribulation and call them to be his witnesses upon the earth. For example, we read of the 144,000 witnesses in Revelation 7, and the two witnesses in Revelation 11, and “those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” in Revelation 12:17.
Do you think that these Tribulation believers are aware of the Psalms? Of course they are! What would you be doing as a believer during a time such as that? You would be clinging, as they assuredly will be, to texts such as Psalm 23—“The Lord is my shepherd!”—and Psalm 24—“The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!”—and Psalm 25—“O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.”
In the events described in Revelation, it does appear at times that God’s enemies get the upper hand. But we must live rejoicing with confidence and hope that, in the end, God always—always— redeems his people who cling to him!
What an amazing reminder to bring the Psalms into the context of the great tribulation! When faced with difficulties and distress in my own life I need to encourage myself in the Lord my God (1 Samuel 30:6) and the Psalms are an oft-visited treasure. No doubt the believers of that time will also find comfort and hope in the same as they are reminded of the Lord their God.
Isa 26:3-4 has also been coming to my mind. That is the passage that says, “You will keep him in perfect peace”–shalom, shalom–“whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” The context of Isa 26 is a prophecy that corresponds to the period of the Great Tribulation. So if God can give us that kind of peace in the most horrific of circumstances, he can give us peace in our time as well!
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