Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,
calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
This vision describes a very different planet of people, and a very different response of Jesus to them than what I know today. Part of me wonders if the spiritual climate of the western world right now would even want to hide from God’s wrath. Would they even care that Jesus was judge?
What interests me in this passage is the idolatry of the peoples of the earth who are aware of the wrath of the Lamb. It is a naturalism that is an idolatry. They cry out to mountains and rocks to kill them. They would rather die by their idols than from the truth of the fact that Jesus is the Judge to Whom they must answer. They hope to be buried by an avalanche and somehow to miss being part of the wrath of the Lamb. They know He is invincible (“the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”) yet they refuse to yield. Their idolatry is strong and irrational.
Even to the very end, blind naturalism will refuse to bow. It would seem that Jesus “telegraphs” His role as Judge enough that the people of earth are well aware of what is going on. They have survived unification in empire, war, famine, disease and natural catastrophes. And yet they wish for one more global upheaval in order to keep themselves from accountability before God. They know they will answer to God at this point. Trial has reduced them down to that clear understanding. But sinful rebellion remains enough for those in that day to turn to the senseless commitments of the idolatry of pure naturalism. These men pray to rocks and geographic formations, while acknowledging the anger of God against them. Incredible. Sin truly deceives… right to the very end.