Revelation 16 Reading Guide
Chapter 16 completes the fifth perspective of Christ's victory, and it's the shortest of the seven perspectives of Christ's return, and I think that is by design. These bowls of wrath are God's final judgment. There is nothing more for Him to say or do. In all of the previous perspectives there have been some awful things for sure, but all of them either were warnings or came with warning, because it is always God's desire for people to repent.
v1-17 - One angel after another pours out the wrath of God. In chapter sixteen there are no trumpets blasting woes which warn all which hear, and unlike the previous calamities where 1/3 of the creatures in the sea or in the heavens were destroyed, in chapter 16, the destruction is total, final & complete.
v5-7 & 15-16 are two passages that step away from the narrative to focus on God's justice and mercy.
In the first passage, and angel praises God's justice for vindicating the blood of the martyred saints and prophets.
In v15, all of the sudden the voice of Jesus rings out, reminding you not to be lulled into complacency, for He may return any moment.
As these seven bowls of wrath are poured out, John pauses three times to note that even in the midst of the awfulness, the sinners experiencing the agony were still too stubborn to repent and glorify God:
v9 - They 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.
v11 - People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
v21 - And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Before you find yourself looking down upon these unrepentant people, remember that had not God given you His grace, you would be unrepentant and subject to His wrath as well.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Psalm 79:6–9 (NIV)
Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;
for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.
Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
EYE FOR DETAIL— What happened when the bowl of wrath was poured out on the throne of the beast? (v10)
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments (v7)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will adhere to Jesus' warning that He is coming like a thief, so that you will stay awake and remained clothed (as in, clothed with the Armor of God in Ephesians 6) - (v15)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
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