Sunday, July 01, 2012

Judgment Fatigue

Revelation 16.10-21


I’m relieved that the pronouncements of judgment are almost over. At this point, I’m exhausted by the scope of evil, to say nothing of God’s plan for getting rid of it. It’s overwhelming to the point of numbness. I have spiritual pins-and-needles every time I read something like “the ____ angel (with a face like _____ ) opened up the _______, and said ‘wo to the _______-ers, for you will be _______-ed out beyond all recognition because of your _______-ness.’”


Seriously.


The one juicy little gem in these verses concerns the demonic frogs that deceive the people of the earth. In Greek there’s a bit of wordplay going on, as ‘evil spirits’ also literally means ‘bad breath.’ I find that amusing. It’s like John is telling his audience that everything they say stinks. They’ve got sociopolitical halitosis, morning coffee breath (literally) from hell.


And what is the content of their deceit? They convince the powers that be not to submit to God, but instead to array their might against him and go to war.


Have you ever had a friend lure you into something remarkably stupid? That’s these deceitful frogs. ‘Frog-men’ are the people we know we shouldn’t listen to, but because they’re our friends or our lovers or our employers or our politicians or our pastors or whatever we set our God-conscience aside for the time being and ‘go along to get along.’


Does that ever work out for anyone? Or is everyone else like me, wondering when it’s all done, ‘how did I let myself get talked into this?’


Biblically, frogs are always symbolic of plagues, non-stop ‘croaking’, and darkness. So beware the people around you who make everybody sick, keep you in the dark about what’s really going on, and never shut up.


Their words stink.

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