Saturday, November 26, 2016

Revelation 16:17-21

Revelation 16:17-21
And the seventh one poured his bowl upon the air and a great voice went out of the temple from the throne while saying, “It is finished.”  And lightning, a voice, thunder, and a great earthquake became – the sort of which did not become from when mankind has become upon the earth.  So great was the earthquake in this great manner.  And the great city became into three parts and the cities of the nations fell.  And Babylon the Great was being remembered in God’s presence to give to it the cup of the wine of the strong passions of His anger.  And every island fled and mountains could not be found.  And great hail – weighing as a talent – comes down out of heaven upon mankind.  And mankind blasphemed God out of the plague of hail since its plague is exceedingly great.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

As the seventh bowl is poured out, we get a story that parallels the death of Christ.  Remember, John was at the cross.  He – and likely the other disciples as well – saw what happened first hand.  At Jesus’ death, an earthquake occurred as the temple curtain was torn.  Jesus Himself spoke the words, “It is finished,” just before dying.  In this passage, the last bowl of wrath is poured out.  Once more it is finished.  Once more an earthquake marks the event.  God is consistent.  At Christ’s death, mankind found salvation.  When it was finished, there was an earthquake.  Here in this passage, mankind finds judgment.  It is also finished and unavoidable.  There is an earthquake to mark the time.

Have you ever noticed the symmetry between the events surrounding the salvation of mankind and the judgment of mankind?  What does this symmetry tell you about God and His ways?

Second Thought:

As God comes in judgment, the creation gives witness to the inescapable nature of judgment.  Earthquakes tear down the glory of mankind, our progress.  Islands flee away into the sea, likely being swallowed up by the water as the violent earthquakes happen.  Incredible hail strikes down from the heavens, damaging everything in its path. Creation knows what is coming, it testifies to its greatness and its ferocity.

What do you think it will be like to live in this time?  Do you think most human beings even have a frame of reference for what will occur?  Why do you think God has this time of judgment framed by such dramatic events?

Third Thought:

Finally, we see humanity’s reaction.  Humanity curses God.  Humanity doesn’t repent.  We aren’t humble.  We don’t know when we are beaten.  We look up and curse because we are powerless to do anything else.  I find this to be a sad, but reasonable, commentary upon humanity.  So often when we are beaten we don’t think about acknowledging that we are the lesser party.  We usually get mad at the victor and go off to pout or plan revenge.  Repentance is not a natural part off our human make-up.  Repentance is something God gives us power to do, but only f we are willing to respond to His calling.

How easily do you repent?  When are you able to repent the best?  Are there any circumstances in which you do not repent easily?  Why?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 17:1-6

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