11/13/11 Revelations 19:1-9
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM
IN THE END, JESUS WINS – AND SO DO WE.
When Babylon fell on the earth, a command came from heaven that God people should celebrate its destruction (18:20). In this section we see God’s people respond to that command. Babylon was one of the most intimidating enemies God’s people in Old Testament times faced. Revelation references it to describe the evil influences in society. Babylon’s fall isn’t just a temporary setback from which she will rise again. This also teaches that God’s punishment is not annihilation. It’s eternal. It will never end. In the end it’s obvious that God always follows through on His threats and always keeps His promises.
In contrast to the silence that comes with the fall of Babylon (18:22), what characterizes the new scene in heaven (19:1-4)?
“Great multitude” is the same word Revelation uses in 7:9 to talk about the people who survived all the troubles of life here still depending on Jesus. In Bible times people talked about justice being served when killers suffered punishment for hurting innocent people. People would say that the punishment was just. This language of smoking ruins was natural war imagery.
What reasons does the huge crowd give for their celebration (19:1-3)?
As part of His control over everything, He has permitted evil men and evil angels to do their worst. Domitian was emperor of Rome when John was on Patmos writing down Jesus’ words. One of this Emperor’s assumed titles was “Lord and God.” There seems to be a touch of irony in the responses of God’s people.
Compare the five songs in this section (19:1-8). What’s the most frequent refrain?
“Hallelujah!” occurs some two dozen times in Psalms (Psalms 146–50), but only in these verses in the New Testament. It’s the Hebrew way of issuing a strong command to give the God of the Bible the credit He deserves.
4. Who are the 24 elders (19:4)? What does their response mean?
In Isaiah 25:6–7 God announces a great banquet for all peoples. Isaiah 25:8 promises that God’s people will never die. In Isaiah 25:9 God’s people celebrate their salvation, declaring, “Let us rejoice and be glad” because God had rescued them.
5. Who is the “bride” of the “Lamb” (19:7)?
There were two important steps to a Jewish marriage: the betrothal (the promised agreement to marry) and the actual wedding reception. There was often an extended period of time between these two events. The groom’s parents finalized the betrothal by paying the “bride price” to reimburse the bride’s family for her services. This dowry payment made the betrothal official. This engagement could be broken only by a form of divorce. Any unfaithfulness during the engagement was considered adultery. The couple would not begin living together for an indefinite time. The groom had to build a house for his new family, usually attached to his parents’ home. Until the construction was complete, with the groom’s father’s approval, there was no living together. When the time came, the groom would fetch his bride, take her to his home, and the wedding reception would begin. The reception could last as long as a week.
6. What qualifies her as ready for the wedding (19:7-8; Isaiah 64:6; 61:10; Matthew 25:1-13; Ephesians 5:25-27)?
A good translation for the end of verse 8 might be, “The fine linen is the “not guilty” verdicts God pronounces on the saints.”
Why just one random explanation for all this picture language (19:8)?
How do you explain what that random explanation means (19:8)?
We’ve paged to the back of the book. We know how the story ends. Jesus wins – big time. This Bible book shows Him in all His glory behind the scenes and, at the end, in front of the camera. His victory party goes on forever. Do you see yourself in this picture? As He wins, you win big time too.
1. There are a lot of guarantees in Revelation like the one at the end of 19:9 (1:2; 17:17; 21:5; 22:6). Why the redundancy?
There’s a reason it calls this Jesus’ wedding, not His engagement. How does that help us hang on?
How does this section connect to Matthew 25:1-13? What’s the connection to Ezekiel 37:15-28?