Okay, I never read the Book of Revelation before.
I read it this week and I wish that I hadn’t.
My thinking was: This is a part of the Bible I’ve never read. Reading the Bible is a good thing because it is the Word of God. God wants us to get to know His Word. So I shouldn’t leave this part of the Bible unread. So I should read it. So I will. It’s never a bad thing to read the Bible.
I am really sorry I did that. Not that I’m sorry I read the Bible. The Bible is the Bible, and it is the Word of God, so I want to read it and I should read it, and I still do want to read it and study it and get to understand it better.
But somebody really ought to stick a warning label on the Book of Revelation: “CAUTION: Don’t read this for the first time without the guidance of a Pastor.”
I’m sorry, the Book of Revelation is terrifying and gruesome. (So are some parts of the Old Testament, but at least those are clearly already in the past.)
Here I am learning that God is the God of Love, that He forgives our sins and cares about each of His children, that I need to open my heart and learn to be fully vulnerable to God’s loving and gentle Hand … and then, opening my heart and making myself vulnerable I start reading the Book of Revelation. Letters to the churches: fine, angels: fine, then I get to the 7 seals and I’m starting to get nervous. By the time I get to the 4 Horses I feel like I’m watching a horror movie and practically gasping for breath, after months of reading about love and trust and forgiveness and peace, why is God now showing a horror movie as the final chapter of His word?
I couldn’t put it down. Though I should have.
I really wasn’t ready for the spiritual battle between Good & Evil.
Maybe that’s one of the dangers of these pandemic times – we aren’t really able to be in close contact with our Pastors & church leaders, so we try to learn on our own what really should be learned from a teacher.
I’m not going back to the Book of Revelation until I can do it with a Pastor leading the way. And I wish I hadn’t tried.