Trembling and white faced, I put the book called “The Good News” back on my father’s bookshelf. It was a rainy day and I was a bored 12 year old in the early 1970’s. Growing up before the age of computers I read a lot of books, especially on wet days like this. Most of the books were war stories, biographies and thrillers. I’d read everything else and wanted to know why this book was called “The Good News.”
Not all of the books ended well and I’d got into the habit of flicking through to the end chapter to make sure the book had a happy ending before committing to it. So I unwittingly immersed myself into the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation … the Apocalypse.
I couldn’t put it down. The book had a strange compelling power that pulled me in and no-one prepared me for what I was about to read. We never covered it in religious instruction.
What a wild literary ride that was. It had to be the scariest book I ever read! I put the book back on the shelf, failing to see how it could possibly be called “the Good News.”
If you don’t know the Bible my advice is start reading at Matthew instead!
There’s a proverb that says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. I tell you, at the tender age of 12, that book really did put the fear of God into me.
Now that I know the Lord, I can read the Book of Revelation without fear, but I can tell you this is no ordinary book. It’s the only book in the Bible that promises a special blessing if you read it. But you can’t just read it – you have to hear and keep the words. Revelation 1:3
But how do you do that? In 2019 I was back in the Book of Revelation. On my umpteenth time through the Bible, I was still finding this last book a majestic but enigmatic end times puzzle.
“Lord, how can I understand this book?” I asked, scratching my head.
“People reading the prophecy for knowledge will read but not hear. They remain untouched. They think, they reason, they conclude – but they do not understand, or tremble, or marvel,” the Lord replied.
Opening his book, he continued; “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
Wise counsel is is needed to understand a puzzle. A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Eat the bread and drink the wine Wisdom has mixed, and you will understand. Exalt Wisdom, keep what you have learned and you will be blessed.”
I sought Wisdom and my book “The End, the Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse” came out of that journey. I haven’t marketed the book, the day I received my first small commission payment I also received my breast cancer diagnosis. That was a shot over the bow if there ever was one. Thanks to God, I’ve come through that valley.
Now I am back and I am seeking readers who will take a trip with me through the Book of Revelation. I invite you, if I may, on a strange journey …
Links / Verses
But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Wise counsel is is needed to understand a puzzle
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
When you find Wisdom, cherish her. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.
“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”