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August 14 – The voice of the martyrs

“How long, O Lord?” – Revelation 5:10

Scripture reading: Revelation 6:9-11; Isaiah 49:14-23

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?” Of all the relationships on earth, that of a mother and child is among the strongest. God looks at that relationship and questions whether a mother could ever forget her child, and then says, “Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” The love of God for us is so great that there is no comparison. He will never forget His people.

Revelation 6 shows us a people who may feel forgotten. Having lived for Christ upon the earth, they served with such courage and single-heartedness, that when they faced the ultimate test they laid down their lives rather than deny their Lord. They now cry out, “How long O Lord?” They are looking for justice; they are looking for God’s righteous vengeance against sin, and they are weary of waiting.

There will be a day when God will judge the wicked and vindicate all those who put their hope in Him, whether they die as martyrs or not. It is not here yet. For today, the redemptive purposes of the Lamb continue. The “Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise…but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). As we wait for His return, let us labour to bring others to repentance, knowing we are not forgotten by the King of kings.

Suggestions for prayer

Father, help us to be patient in tribulation, and faithful in bearing witness.

Pastor Greg Bylsma is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and he is currently serving at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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