Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” Revelation 16:1
With the completion of the prelude to the coming bowl judgments revealed in Chapter 15, this chapter now begins with the details of that scene starting to be filled in. In this, John opens the words of Chapter 16 with, “Then I heard a loud voice.”
This is the often-repeated phrase going back to verse 1:10 and having been used quite a few times since then. The heralding of a new part of a scene, or the introduction of a new event, is preceded by a loud voice. This one is said to be “from the temple.”
It was just said in the previous verse that “no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.” Therefore, this is the voice of the Lord Jesus Himself (the God/Man) calling out and “saying to the seven angels, ‘Go.’”
As noted, the seven angels might be (and probably are) “the seven Spirits who are before His throne” of Revelation 1:4. They are His “angels,” meaning “messengers,” of destruction upon the world that has rejected Him. They are told to “Go.” It indicates the set time has come, and the purposes of God will now be met in their going forth. Their purpose is to “pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
Rather than “on,” the preposition signifies “into.” The measure of iniquity of man has reached its fullness, and the time for God to judge the earth has come. It is the same thought as that which occurred in Genesis at the coming of the flood of Noah. It is what occurred when Egypt was judged. It is the same for the Amorites in Canaan when they were exterminated by Israel. There is a point where God’s wrath is poured out on those who have rejected Him. This is, again like at the time of Noah, which is to be on a global scale.
Life application: The direction is given and there will be no holding back on what is coming. The trumpet judgments were limited in their size and scope, and served as warnings concerning what would come if the world wouldn’t turn to God. And, of course, it didn’t. Therefore, the bowl judgments are on their way. They will pour out plagues in full strength, and no one on earth will be spared from what is coming.
We tend to think that if we just store up enough food, money, or other things, then we will be secure from troubles that other people will be caught in. In fact, the concept of IRAs and other retirement funds is to provide security during the years of difficulty that lay at the end of every working life. But relying on these things is tenuous at best. A little hiccup in an economy can wipe away vast fortunes.
A set of worldwide calamities will take away every thought of security. People will live day to day and feel the effects of these judgments continuously. We think we can hide from God, but He is ever-present. When His judgment comes, it will be a terrifying thing.
For the Christian, we know that our security isn’t in gold or silver, nor is it in the US dollar, a hedge fund, or an IRA. Our security is in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and in the power of His resurrection! And that is security we can bank on. Thank God for JESUS!
Lord, let us take a moment to thank You for the surety we have in You! Thank You for Your shed blood and the offer of peace that comes through it. Now we can rest in absolute surety that we will stand in Your presence without any fear of condemnation! Great are You, O Lord, and greatly to be praised! Hallelujah! Yes, Praise the Lord! Amen.