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God Has Books and a Bottle

July 27, 2018

I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:12

The Bible tells us that God has books and a bottle. In the books, he records all human evil (20:12). In the bottle, he gathers the tears of his suffering people (Ps. 56:8).

Every act of human cruelty and violence is completely known to God. He knows the full effect of it in terms of human pain and sorrow. One writer, David Prior, picks up on this: “God’s memory and attention to detail does not… change like our contemporary media, according to the latest disaster. God has both books and a bottle, which together are more accurate than the world’s most up-to-date computer with the latest software. God has limitless capacity.”

God sees all the great evils of human life and never forgets one. On the day of the Lord, the books will be opened. Every sin, every crime, every evil will be brought to account. Every secret will be revealed, and God “will bring to light things now hidden in darkness” (1 Cor. 4:5).

If we ask why there should be a judgment, the answer is: Because of human evil. Evil is etched into human history and human character to such a degree that, without a judgment, there can never be a restoration.

This judgment will happen. The same God who says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (2:25) also says, “I will gather all the nations… And I will enter into judgment with them” (3:2).

How does knowing that God remembers all our pain and sorrow bring you comfort and hope in your suffering?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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