Revelation 16:4

Friday, 30 April 2021

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Revelation 16:4

This closely corresponds to the effects of the sounding of the third trumpet –

* Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. (bowl)

* Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. (trumpet)

With that understood, John begins the verse with, “Then the third angel poured out his bowl.” The sequence of bowls being poured out is given in order for us, but it does not mean that they do not overlap in time. We are simply being presented with the effects of the events in order to know what occurs with each one. The effect of this outpouring is “on the rivers and springs of water.”

As with the previous two outpourings, the Greek reads eis, into, not epi, upon. The effect of the outpouring goes into the rivers and springs of water, mixing with them, “and they became blood.”

The verb in the Greek is singular. Therefore, instead of saying, “they became,” it should more precisely say, “it became,” or “there came.” Despite this, the words here convey the same thought as the previous outpouring. Without saying it this time, the result is probably the death of everything in them, but this is not explicitly stated.

Life application: At the sounding of the third trumpet, only a third of the rivers and the springs of water were affected. However, no such distinction is made here. Either these words here are speaking in general terms, or the plague is vaster in its scope.

No matter which, life can’t survive without water, and so the people will be forced to drink what is available, even if it brings about agony and death. In the modern world, filtration is available, but not on a grand scale. Much of the earth will be forced to drink this water in its polluted state. And, depending on what has contaminated the waters, filtration may not be able to completely purify it.

The world is reaping the harvest it has sown and in a most personal way. Every mouth will loathe what it is offered, and yet it will be forced to accept it anyway. The mouths which should have given praise, honor, and glory to the Creator are now forced to drink of the corrupt creation that they worshiped. The irony is truly palpable in this plague, and it will certainly consume a great many people in the process.

Be sure to pray for the lost now, and also to take every chance to tell them the good news of the gospel. And more, be a living testimony to the goodness of God that says forgiveness is available for all who come to Him through faith in the precious Gift of JESUS.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Amen.