Read Revelation 16
Key Verse: Revelation 16:5 “Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say; ‘You are just in these judgments, You who are and who were, the Holy One, because You have so judged…”
In this chapter we see the anger of God at sin and the demands of His justice. Seven angels “pour out” the contents of the “seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God” (15:7). The first bowl brings a plague of ulcers upon “the people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped his image” (v.2). The second bowl befouls the sea (v.3) while the third bowl pollutes the fresh water (v.4). The fourth bowl affects the sun so that the earth’s residents are “seared by the intense heat” (v.9), and the fifth bowl plunges “the throne of the beast, and his kingdom” into darkness (v.10). The sixth bowl dries up the Euphrates river and releases three evil spirits who gather “the kings of the whole world…for battle on the great day of God” at the valley of Megiddo (vv.12-16). The final bowl precipitates a great cataclysm culminating in a huge earthquake and violent hail storm (vv.16-21).
All of this comes from God Himself. And the people “curse” Him because of it (vv.9,10). There’s something in human nature that resents superior power, even when it comes from God, who is the ultimate power. We each can choose to submit or rebel.
One of the most significant messages of the book of Revelation is that God will ultimately manifest His holiness and punish all unholiness. In the context of this chapter, we can clearly see that all this wrath and destruction could have been prevented — but sinful mankind “refused to repent of what they had done” (v.11b). God will go to almost any length to impress on us our need to turn away from sin. But if we refuse, we’ll suffer the consequences.