The Reed as aRod (3)
We need both the
divine nature and the
ruling authority to stand
for the Lord today
In Revelation 2:26-27 the rod for dashing the nations in pieces is a “rod of iron.” In Revelation 21:15-17 the reed for measuring the New Jerusalem is a “golden reed.” But, what is the substance of the “reed like a measuring rod” in Revelation 11:1-2? We are not told.
There is a principle in interpreting the Bible that often, what the Bible doesn’t tell us is as significant as what it does tell us. That is certainly the case here.
This “reed like a rod” must have something of the ruling authority of the iron, and something of the divine nature of the gold, but it is difficult to say too much about it.
In the same way, if we ever enter into spiritual conflict, we may not be clear what kind of experience we are having, whether it is something of the Lord’s ruling authority or something of the divine nature, or both. But, we do need to be clear that we must exercise both to stand for the Lord today. That is, it is not enough to have the divine nature alone; we must also exercise the ruling authority.
Consider the cry of the martyred saints at the opening of the 5th seal:
They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
— Revelation 6:10
Some feel that these cannot be New Testament believers, since, rather than interceding for the lost, they are asking God to avenge them and judge “those who dwell on the earth.” That, however, is not the case; the saints crying out here certainly do include the New Testament believers, for just as with the Israelites in the Old Testament, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).
If fact, the 5th seal marks a turn in God’s dealings with mankind, or at least the initiation of that turn, namely, the end of the Age of Grace. God’s judgments upon the earth will commence “a little while” thereafter with the opening of the 6th seal.
Can we make such a turn with God, when the time comes in our own experience? Especially in these days, when lawlessness is increasing so much all around us, we really need the firmness of the iron to stand for the Lord’s testimony; the softness of the gold (it is one of the softest of all the heavy metals) is not sufficient in such a circumstance.
G.H. Pember wrote, in 1909, of the Christians in his day who failed to adequately stress the coming judgment:
They forget that all of [Christ’s] teachings point to the boundless eternity stretching far beyond the horizon of this brief life, and that even His precepts for our conduct here are ever pressed home by the thought of the Judgment hereafter.
They begin to see Him more and more as a mere Socialistic leader, anxious only to reform the abuses and alleviate the suffering of the present world, and to distribute its good things to the many. But this is just what the Antichrist will profess to be.
— The Great Prophecies, Volume 2, page viii.
If we are to remain faithful to the Lord, we have to appreciate that He is a God of judgment. What the psalmist tell us applies today, even in this Age of Grace:
God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
— Psalm 7:11
May the Lord grant us to experience both the divine nature of the golden reed, and the ruling authority of the rod of iron, so that we may stand with Him both for His grace and for His judgment in this dark time.
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— 30 April 2022 —