Over the weekend I was in Brazil and there were moments when the presence of God in a place was stronger than I have known for a long time. The problem is trying to explain it. When we try and explain we always lose some of its impact. This is the case in this verse today which is an introduction into a powerful section of chapter 12 to 15 which actually could be said to be the centre of the Revelation.
Remember chapter 4:5 “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing” and in chapter 8:5 “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.”? We are back at the throne, God’s temple is opened again to us.
“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 severe hailstorm.” (Revelation 11 v 19)
This time there is an important addition.
John sees the Ark of the Covenant. We know what it is. We know it contains the 10 Commandments and other powerful artefacts. We know the stories attached to its history. However, we don’t know the significance as we read that John saw it.
The Jews believe that God has hidden the Ark but that it will be restored and revealed at the end time. So this is the end of all ends. We are here.
The Jews believe that the Ark was the most sacred of all sacred articles. Underneath the cover of the Ark is the glory of God. They long for this day.
There will come a day that what John saw we will see.
Everything that is hidden will be revealed. We will be there, standing in His presence. It will be more fulfilling, more satisfying and more powerful than we have ever known. We will find it hard to describe but we will be there.