Hide us from His face

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Witnessing
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I was stopped in a construction zone today and was watching a giant crane pick up 10 foot long pieces of broken concrete slab and drop them in a dumpster.  Those massive rocks came down with such force into that dumpster.  It was a little bit awe inspiring and as I considered the massive weight of each slab against the backdrop of passerby’s, I shuttered to think how easily one of those could crush a person. Instantly the Lord quickened His word to my mind:

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? ~Revelation 6:15-17

There is actually coming a day when men will wish to be buried by such rocks rather then to stand exposed before God.  That got me thinking of what may be going through the minds of unconverted men on that day to cause them to wish for such a thing.

1) The law and justice of God

I think the first and obvious reason is because God is sitting on His throne as a just judge.  His law can no longer be brushed off by way of light reasoning (I’m not really that bad of a person, I try my best) or by the willful rebellion (It’s my life, I do things as I please) of fallen man.  Judgment day has come and the judge has personally witnessed every crime committed.  What a fearful thing to stand as a guilty criminal at the judgment.

2) The love and mercy of God

On top of this is the reality that men were offered the pardoning blood of heavens lamb, a clean heart, and a new life… and they turned it down.  This may have been through outright mocking and rejection or a more subtle neglecting of Gods great salvation given in Jesus Christ.  Either way, it seems that despising God’s mercy in Christ will carry far greater condemnation then all other sins committed.  The psalmist wrote that God is to be feared for His mercy, likewise the prophet Isaiah was undone after having a future glimpse of the King “I am a man of unclean lips … and my eyes have seen the King”.  I do not believe he was undone by experiencing the attributes of Gods wrath as some portray, for this prophet was no object of God’s wrath but rather His mercy.  His eyes had seen the King, not just as a righteous judge but also as the suffering servant that would atone for the sins of His people!  Later he writes:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:-4:5 

It is no wonder that many people call this prophets writings the Gospel of Isaiah.  Even as an object of God’s mercy what could stop him from crying out “woe is me” upon foreseeing the manner in which the justice and mercy of God would meet.  Is God to be feared for His righteous judgments – of course, but how much more so for His mercy?  Now consider how greatly will men fear God as they see clearly that they have rejected the precious blood of Christ and every pardoning mercy that is obtained through it?  What a fearful thing to have neglected so great salvation.

3) The vanity of life and its fleeting comforts

One more thing that will cause men to call down mountains on themselves is to realize that just as the age of grace as been neglected and is lost forever, so are the sins and trivial affairs that occupied their time in this life.  The American dream, the thrill of watching sports, pursuing a sense of power or accomplishment, and every other vanity of their life will be gone.  It will have been for nothing and may as well have only given them pleasure for a few seconds, even if they enjoyed them for 80 years.  It is now gone forever and found to have been completely worthless.  Having despised the law of God and the mercy of God for such pursuits they literally wasted their existence in sin and futility and have only a long eternity of damnation left before them.  What a fearful thing to have squandered away the vapor of time that stood between you and eternal justice.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:7

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.  ~ Proverbs 16:6

  1. James says:

    Amen. Sobering thoughts for sure. I often think about how on that great and terrible day I could have been one of those in the crowd crying out to the mountains to come down on me.

    What a stark reality to wish for death because of the eternal punishment awaiting me would be so frightening. The condemned conscience would be unbearable.

  2. fleebabylon says:

    Oh the precious blood of Jesus. Thank God for showing such great love to such a vile and wicked man as myself. I pray he will change every last bit of my heart by love and grace. May the lamb that was slain receive the reward of His sufferings.

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