Archives For mercy
The fated storm
This my fierce
And certain judge.
I knew its powers
Would soon unleash,
The poisoned showers
Meant for me.
It would barrel down
Upon my brow,
And pin my soul
Fast to the ground.
There’s no escape
The storm’s for me,
The wages of
I have no rest
I have no hope,
It’s what I need
But what I hate,
Caught in the war
Of sin and fate.
I clench my teeth
And guard my face,
I know that there
Is no escape.
The lightning bolts
Come crashing through,
I do not know
What I should do.
I cannot hide
From its wrath,
My sin has chained me
To this path.
The storm attacks
The devil roars,
Upon my back
God’s mercy pours.
The lightning meant
To strike me dead,
Has fallen upon
To my right,
With face up turned
Against the night.
The Son of God
The Christ, the King,
Gave my storm
The fated storm
Meant for me,
Fell on him
And set me free.
© Samuel Kee, 2012
Growing up, we had a huge electrical tower in the field behind our rural house. If you’re a guy, right now you’re thinking, “Cool! 24/7 access to fantastic climbing!”
One time, I decided to climb up as high as I could. I found myself near the top of this gigantic metal tower; I was so high that my body was actually above the power lines. And that’s when it happened: I started to feel this itching sensation in my hands. At first I thought my hands had fallen asleep. But then, the tingling in my hands turned into a gentle pulsing in my arms.
At this point, you can undoubtedly predict what I did—kept climbing higher! Step by step I continued to go. The gentle pulsing, however, quickly turned into a rapid jolting throughout my whole body, not enough to hurt, but just more reason to keep climbing. Before I realized what was happening, the gentle jolting turned into a paralyzing electrical current throughout my body. I was frozen and didn’t know what to do.
I’m not sure how I managed to move, but I did after some time. I managed to descend from the spot where I felt the strongest shock. Gradually, I made it down from the electrical tower and I’m pretty sure I kissed the ground when I finally arrived. (Please do not follow my example and be so foolish as to climb an electrical tower!)
I bet that at some point in your life you’ve thought that approaching God is the same way: the “higher” or closer you get to God, the more he’s going to zap you. Many people have told me that they believed something along these lines. God hates it when we have fun and if we were to go to him, he’d kill us on the spot. But is that true?
In the Bible, it says that God sits on a throne that is surrounded by a rainbow (Revelation 4:3). In biblical times, the rainbow represented God’s mercy toward us, not his wrath. God uses the rainbow to show us that he is not going to pour out his wrath on us (Genesis 9:13-15). God put a rainbow around his throne to let us know that it’s okay for us to approach him. He’s not going to zap us.
John Calvin said that we will never go to God unless we know that God is beneficent toward us. Unless we realize that God will be good to us, we will not approach him. Do you realize that God is beneficent toward you?
Some like to use this as an excuse, “I don’t want to go to church because God might strike me dead.” I’ve heard that statement many times before. We use God’s goodness, perfection, and holiness as an excuse for not seeking him.
That’s pretty twisted, don’t you think?
But God takes away all of our excuses by placing a rainbow around himself. He hangs a “Vacancy” sign on his window, letting us know that there’s a place for us right next to him. He even prepares a storehouse full of treasure for us, waiting for us, the reward of those who seek him. What if you knew that your neighbor had a houseful of treasure for you, if only you cross the street and knock on the door? You wouldn’t let anything stop you from making that short trip.
Even closer than a neighbor, God waits with treasure for you, robed in mercy and completely beneficent toward those he loves. God has a great inheritance just for you (Ephesians 1:14). God loves you, no matter how far you’ve come or what you’ve done. He does not want to strike you dead, but proved his love for you by striking his own Son dead.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-33). Yes, God will graciously give us all things at the expense of his own Son.
Now that’s shocking.
©Samuel Kee, 2011.
Honestly, I do not like writing about the fourth spectacular secret of heaven. I feel like I ought to apologize first. But at the same time, life will not make sense if we do not discover this next secret. We must understand it, wrestle with it, and ultimately embrace it—whether we like it or not. The next verse says,
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.
Lighting. Earthquakes. Thunder. These are the things that terrify us. We never want them to land in our life, to shake our world. Yet, whether we like it or not, they’re there, as raw statements of God’s power.
This manifestation of power is seen again and again as we trace the occurrences of lightning, earthquakes, and thunder throughout the rest of the book of Revelation. Each of these strikes again and again as the book unfolds:
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake.
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
As the great book of Revelation progresses, we witness the lighting, thunder, and earthquakes again and again, pummeling the earth and its inhabitants. It’s absolutely devastating.
Then we realize, as we retrace the course of these phenomena, that they all begin at the throne. The throne of God is the fount of the lightning, earthquakes, and thunder, starting in our verse, Revelation 4:5.
The fourth spectacular secret of heaven is that our trials on earth begin in heaven, at the throne.
As I said, I feel like I have to apologize before I write about this. We don’t like to think about God having a hand in our trials. But we must.
These trials are God’s judgment on the earth and its wickedness. In order for God to be good, he has to uphold his standard of goodness. He must fight for it. In the same way, as an analogy, I would never put up with outsiders who victimize my family or home. To be a good man, I must fight for my family and make sure that those who do wicked things to it are dealt with. To neglect judgment is a form of unrighteousness, or lack of goodness. Evil cannot persist if God is serious about making this world good and restoring it fully.
He must judge; he must send the lightning, thunder, and earthquakes. He must deal with evil, lest he hand evil the victory.
God is merciful, as we saw in the second spectacular secret of heaven. God’s knee jerk reaction is never lighting, but always forbearance and mercy. When the world deserved thunder, God first sent his Son. When the world should have been leveled by God’s judgment, God leveled his Son on the cross, allowing us to escape through the dust. God first judged his Son, way before he will send the thunder. We now live in God’s era of grace and patience before the judgments come crashing on our shore. Still, as we speak, they are kindling beneath the throne.
The throne is the source of our trials. Yet we must take to heart the next part of the verse, “Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.” In the face of these trials, the lamps blaze.
God wants us to know that the storms of life that he sends to us will not blow us apart. God’s people will continue to blaze through the gale-force winds, since his Spirit is alive in us. As trials land in our lives, God will sustain us. Just picture a candle keeping its fire in the face of a hurricane. Though it doesn’t seem possible, that is the beautiful power of God’s Spirit, alive in his people. Nothing can keep us from blazing.
God has you in his hand; he knows just how much you can take. He is in control over every trial and will not let his church be extinguished.
 Revelation 4:5.
 Revelation 6:12.
 Revelation 8:5
 Revelation 11:13.
 Revelation 11:19.
 Revelation 16:18.
© 2011 by Samuel Kee
There are seven spectacular secrets of heaven found in Revelation 4. In the last post, I shared with you the first one: Someone is on the throne. Now let’s go to the next verse and discover the second spectacular secret.
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
The second secret is that mercy surrounds the throne. As the doorway of heaven is opened and we are allowed to enter into the secret council chamber of God, not only do we see that someone is at the helm, but also we see a rainbow encircling the power center. A rainbow surrounds the throne.
In the first book of the Bible, we learn that the rainbow represents mercy. In Genesis 9:14-15, God said to Noah, “Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” The rainbow is God’s sign to us that he will not destroy us.
The rainbow is God’s sign of mercy, that it is okay to approach him. You will not be destroyed when you approach God.
A lot of people that I meet think that God is out to get them; they think that he is very judgmental and full of wrath. To a lot of people, God is like a giant bug zapper: when we bugs get to close…ZAP! So the thought of going directly to the throne of God is paralyzing, as we are terrified of him.
But it is safe to approach the throne of God; we will not get zapped, for mercy surrounds the throne. This spectacular secret is a deluge of hope for people who think that God hates them and is bent on making their lives miserable.
God is mercy toward you. God does not want to keep you away, but draw you to himself. He puts the rainbow around his throne as a sign to you that it’s okay to go to him. In fact, God is inviting you to go to him. The rainbow is his “Welcome” sign, hung in his window so that every weary traveler may come home to him.
Even the dirtiest and most worn traveler is invited home; for no matter how far you’ve run from God and no matter how you’ve spent your years, God wants you to come back to him. His throne will not consume you since his is a “throne of grace,” as we learn in Hebrews 4:16.
The rainbow around the throne takes away all of our excuses and all of our fears, it is God’s standing invitation to come to him. God is mercy to you.
 Revelation 4:3.
© 2011 by Samuel Kee
There were once two streams. The first was very calm; its waters were easy and smooth. People really enjoyed being carried by it, as they floated along, peacefully enjoying the ride. When riding on this first river, they could get preoccupied by so many other matters and interests, since they did not have to worry about staying afloat or steering their vessel. Nevertheless, at the end of this stream was a titanic waterfall, which no one ever survived. One minute those floating down this first stream had no care in the world; the next minute, they were plummeting to their death.
The second stream was not like the first, except for the disaster waiting at the end. Though the second stream also ended with a colossal waterfall, the journey there was much different. The second stream was not calm at all. In fact, its waters wrung and twisted between rocks, foaming and gasping as they went. There were often great rapids, with sudden drops and nauseating whirlpools. There was nothing safe or peaceful about this second stream. Those who found themselves on the second stream could not relax or engage in extracurricular matters. They knew better, for the stream gave them every indication of what was ahead. The rapid waters served as a warning to the looming danger; thus, those on the second stream knew that they must cling to a rock as soon as they had the chance.
Though both streams ended the same way, few from the second stream ever went over the waterfall, for they learned early to cling to a rock.
The name of the first stream was Misery; the name of the second was Mercy.
© 2010 by Samuel Kee