Revelation 21 reminded me of why it is so beneficial to read through entire books of the Bible and not just sections here and there. This chapter is one of the most glorious in all of scripture but as I read it today it was more than just a great promise of things to come but was truly overwhelming beautiful. Why was I so taken by it? Because I had read the entire book up until this point and knew the process that God went through to get to this glorious arrival of the new Heaven and the new Earth. All of the battles, all of the plaques poured out, all of the rise and fall of evil not to mention the angels and the storms and natural disasters.
It is a poor, poor example, but I would have never appreciated the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA championship the way that I did if it wasn’t for their heartbreaking loss in 2006. In other words, I needed to know the full story and the history behind the team to see 2011 for the miraculous season it was.
In the same way, without reading all of Revelation, I would have no true sense of the power and might of our God. When the writer says, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it…” I have a fuller picture of what God’s glory is like.
When John wrote this letter to the seven churches, he didn’t expect his readers to read a couple of pages and then jump to Psalms. No, he expected them to read it all the way through. Only then, would they grasp the full scope of what he was telling them.
Since I had never read Revelation before, I am glad that I chose to start from chapter 1 and move forward. It has been worth it.