Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #47
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.’”
Revelation 3:7 (NIV)
Over this past winter the weather people kept warning us about huge snowstorms that were supposed to come our way, and with the exception of last week, they all fizzled out before they reached us. One weather man said that 24 hours out they are usually 90% correct, 48 hours out about 75% right and beyond that, its pretty much an educated guess.
Human beings have become adept at many things, but there are still many things over which we have no control – weather being the most obvious. This isn’t the case with Almighty God. The title describes Him perfectly. As the Creator of all things, He is in control of all that He has made.
In Revelation 3, Jesus gives a prophecy to the Church in Philadelphia (the one in Turkey, not in Pennsylvania). The Church was a small band of believers living in a city known in its day as “little Athens” because it was filled with temples and idolatrous worship. The followers of Jesus were not powerful in a worldly sense but they remained faithful to Jesus. As a result, Jesus gives them a promise in Revelation 3:7 that is a direct quote from Isaiah 22:22: “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.’”
The power of the world is found in politics, the military, a financial portfolio, the right school or the right family. The powerful make decisions that affect entire communities, provinces and nations. It has always been so. But there is a power that is greater.
Jesus wanted the Christians in Philadelphia to know that in spite of how powerless they seemed, they belonged to the King of kings and Lord of lords. When God declares something to be so, it is. When He declares a door open, it is.
He makes the same point in the book of Job 38:4-7 where He asks a long list of rhetorical questions: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?”
This is the God that we serve and love – the same God that the Christians in Philadelphia served so faithfully. He rules and reigns and He opens doors that no human being can shut. In these days of pandemic, we can feel like we have so little control over our lives. That shouldn’t be a problem for those of us who are followers of Jesus – He is in control of our lives already. And we can trust Him to open doors that no human being can shut.
I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.