Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Revelations 16:13 and 6:9-10 and Interconnections

Yesterday, I commented on a humorous moment on the cruise last week. The way Carnival works dinners we generally sat with the same people each night. Two young women traveling together were at our table. One day we randomly also ended up next to them for lunch. One of the young women had on a Muppets t-shirt. For dinner she ordered frogs legs and bacon macaroni and cheese. The irony was not on me and Sherry or her and her traveling companion.

While that was humorous, it made me wonder what the Bible has to say about frogs. I bet that most people know about the plague of frogs in Exodus. But that is not the only place where frogs are mentioned. Frogs also come up in Revelations 16:13,

I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. 
These "demonic" spirits are described as performing signs (presumably false signs) and that is followed by 16:15 which warns readers that God will return unexpectedly like a thief in the night, reminding us to always be ready.

The reference to the unclean spirits like frogs is also sandwiched between verses about angels pouring out the sixth and seventh bowls. These follow the seven seals. All of them are associated with the seven plagues in Exodus as a reminder that catastrophe will come to those who do not follow God.

And, that brings me back (ten chapters) to Revelations 6:9-10. There, the author writes,

When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out in a loud voice, “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?”

This is clearly a reference to martyrs and the plagues are part of the answer to the avenging of the martyrs. The concept of martyrs brings me back to St Sebastian and my tattoo, which I have not written about in a long time but my appointment to get is now just 2 1/2 weeks away. Interestingly, I had a conversation with a colleague about tattoos just yesterday.

The level of interconnections of ideas and concepts, physical and spiritual, driven by my interests and what is happening around me often amazes me. It is evidence (in my mind) of how God is always watching over and the reason I should be as cautious as is recommended in Revelations 16:15 (and the more familiar Matthew 24:43 or Matthew 25:1-13).

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