Revelation 16

People rail against a God who kills people or sits by and allows horrific things to happen.  This is because our anthropology is soft.  We think that mankind by virtue of being its lovely self deserves Hershey’s kisses, foot massages, and cool Martinis by the pool.  Because God is perfection our imperfection is horrific and deserves utter annihilation.  In fact annihilation might be seen as too good for humanity, since humanity as a whole has trampled on the free gift of grace offered through Jesus Christ.  I saw a blog where a young woman railed against a God who would not even do the simple, kind, nice things she would.  Of course, any human should extend grace toward another human because of the grace we have received.  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed and we have to extend that grace and love to others while time allows.  The very fact that the woman whose blog I read compares her actions to God’s shows how far from understanding God’s holiness, goodness, and perfection she is.  Also her judgement on God shows how far she is from understanding her sinfulness, evil, and desperate condition.  In the end when God rains down his judgement on mankind it is no surprise that the people of the earth rail at him.  People today have lost the concept as to why a holy God would be in any way justified in showing righteous fury.

Revelation 16

    1Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”

 2The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

 3The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.

 4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:

   “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One,
   you who are and who were;
6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,
   and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”

 7And I heard the altar respond:

   “Yes, Lord God Almighty,
   true and just are your judgments.”

 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony 11and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.

 12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

   15“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

 16Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

 17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds,[a] fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Questions

  1. How are te story of the plagues of Egypt and of the seven bowls similar?
  2. Why do you think people do not plead for mercy but call out curses?
  3. Why would people think they could make war against God?
  4. If you received a life without grace tomorrow, how would that be?
  5. How does a relationship with God change your perspective on His role in the world?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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