Suggested Reading: Revelation 16
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Key Verse: Revelation 16:5
And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things…”
Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…
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” (verse 2). The second bowl befouls the sea (verse 3) while the third bowl pollutes the fresh water (verse 4). The fourth bowl affects the sun so that the earth’s residents are “seared by the intense heat” (verse 9), and the fifth bowl plunges “the throne of the beast, and his kingdom” into darkness (verse 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 (verses 12-16). The final bowl precipitates a great cataclysm culminating in a huge earthquake and violent hail storm (verses 16-21).
All of this comes from God Himself. And the people “curse” Him because of it (verses 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” (verse 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.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God Almighty, as I read Revelation 16 I’m hearing clearly Your message. “You are righteous, O Lord” (16:4a), and I am a sinner. Therefore, I repent! Grant me the grace to live in a state of repentance. I pray for a constant awareness of Your holy presence, so that I may, as You said, Lord Jesus, in 16:15, I will be blessed by watching for Your coming again, and by keeping the garments of Your righteousness as my clothing. In Your Name, I pray, dear Jesus. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As a new believer in Jesus as my Saviour and Lord, I thought long and hard about the reason for the suffering and death of Christ. For example, when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will but Yours be done,” what was in the cup? The answer came from Revelation 16:19b and from other Scriptures. “The cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath!” God’s anger against all that hurts and destroys those He has created and loves was in that cup. I ask myself, “How can I get my mind around this eternal truth?” Over the years I’ve read the words from Isaiah again and again, “The cup of His fury” and “The cup of My fury” (Isaiah 51). I would urge us all, as I have done this morning, to read again Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12. I read this and weep, throwing myself on the mercies of God, and confident in God’s promise that “He [Jesus] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4a), and that “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Yours for giving our lives in a fresh commitment to Jesus every day,