I should have known. The last chapter set a scene of urgent practical disaster that leaves you throwing yourself on God. Where does he go?
Cosmic, takes us out of the moment and deeper into it. Breaks the paradigm with talk of spiritual reckoning more dreadful, time scales more blurry, blessing: abundant, physical and spiritual, beyond borders and beyond time, beyond expectation.
God! This is urgent isn’t it?
First the narrative hits retells the locust attack from the last chapter, from a perspective as heavenly judgement. Described like cinema, the shadow of a flying army darkening the sky, an army of judgement sweeping in unstoppably, it’s intense writing And god is at the helm. This dreadful day is gods. It ends with the question “who can endure it?”. Reminds me of Jesus teaching of judgement coming as a shock, or the rich fool who counts his wealth, goes to bed happy and dies. Who can endure?
Revelation 9 returns to this way of describing a locust plague as an army of gods judgement.
Then a reminder that this is not gods preference for us. He wants to love. It gets back to hearts. Don’t just wail and tear your clothes in grief as in chapter 1, rend your hearts. Change.
Everything is spiritual. Time is spiritual. there is still enough of it to know gods mercy. That is more urgent than anything.
Cue the locust horde sent into the sea, the land blessed, abundant in raid, plentiful crops. I’m not close to doing the language justice, it’s beautifully written.
But it doesn’t stop at practical blessing, a good harvest, God will pour out his spirit. The bit about the effect of the spirit, women prophesying, young men seeing visions and old men dreaming, is quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost. It speaks of a far greater judgement and a far greater blessing of which this experience is just a hint.