Daily Bible Reading Reflections

The Saddest Summary of a Life You Can Imagine

Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 10 and Revelation 9.

In Revelation 9, we read one of the saddest summaries imaginable. In a vision revealed by God himself, John is being made to see some dark and terrible things. A bottomless pit from which billows the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air, darkened. Terrible locusts that torment and devour unlike anything experienced in the natural world. A king named Destruction. A third of mankind, destroyed. Can you imagine what John is feeling in the pit of his stomach as this terrifying vision unfolds?

But notice the last two verses of Revelation 9.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Rev 9:20-21)

What’s the saddest thing you can imagine being on someone’s tombstone? I’m not sure I can think of a sadder summary than, “He refused to turn.”

My teenager is learning to drive. Fundamental to the skill of driving is knowing when to stop and turn. Maybe you’ll go hiking this Summer. Everyone realizes how foolish it would be to start walking along a mountain path and refuse to turn as the trail bears left away from the edge of a sheer cliff. Parents, college counselors, financial advisors, preachers of the gospel, shepherds of local churches–they all encourage us to turn when it is in our best interest, especially as we are approaching danger and destruction.

But the choice to turn is a personal choice. Beyond the warning signs, the blinking lights, the reasoned pleas, and the efforts of others to “wake us up,” repentance is always a personal decision.

Think about it. Once the opportunities of life have been spent, what sadder summary could there be than, “She refused to turn”?

His ways are not our ways; his thoughts are infinitely higher than our thoughts, but we know this: our Creator is so very patient, not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Pet 3:9).

Do you need to make a course adjustment today?

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