“After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendour.”
Revelation 18:1 NLT
In John’s vision, an angel appears from Heaven. John was told that he had “great authority” and every where he went the earth lit up, brightened by “his splendour“. Why would that be significant? We will see in the next few verses the important message he had to declare, but initially this bright being illuminated an earth darkened by the wickedness of the beast and his followers.
Perhaps one reason he was so lit up, was because he had just come straight from the presence of God. Remember the Old Testament story where something similar happened with Moses? We read in Exodus 34:29-30, “When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord. So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him.” The people were not comfortable with his bright face, so Moses had to wear a veil, as described in Exodus 34:33, “When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil.” But no veil was necessary to cover our angel, newly arrived on Planet Earth.
There is one thing we Christians have to be careful of. That is, how do we appear to other people? Is our visage bright and cheerful, or do we look as though we have just taken a sip of vinegar? Are we smiling or miserable? You see, it is no good us pilgrims trying to share the Gospel with others with a miserable face. If our body language is at variance to our message. If we are excited about our relationship with God, as we should be, then others around us should be able to pick up our excitement. Anecdotally, Francis of Assisi has been credited with the saying, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words”. Whether true or not, the point is that the delivery of what we say, and our body language when we speak, must be in step.
I’m personally excited about God, about the wonders of His creation, about His transforming power, about His accessibility, and I’m excited about Jesus, His Son, who gave up His life, taking on board the punishment for all mankind’s sin, and giving us instead His righteousness. And we can now enter into God’s presence, intimately empowered to call Him “Daddy”. In my opinion it is impossible to have a miserable face when we consider all of that!
Father God. How can we express our love and gratitude enough. With faces shining with our love for You, we worship You today. Amen.