The Weekend Word
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.
- This one is a bit strange. It is not on the earth or the water but the sun.
- Human beings since the beginning of time have worshipped and venerated the sun – in all countries and all cultures.
- In John’s day Egypt would come to mind right away. The Egyptians named the sun ‘universal lord’ or ‘lord of the limit’.
- As God pours out his judgment on the sun, the heat does not diminish but it intensifies – and what does it do? It turns on its worshippers and burns them. This is what all false idols do in the end – they always damn their devotees.
- Now in contrast, what happened during the plague that hit the sun? It got dark – here it gets hotter.
- These people are scorched with fire – which is the opposite of what happens to those sealed by God. See Rev 7:16-17.
- *** A note about idols, they never give you a Sabbath rest. They demand your attention 24/7/365 – unless you turn from that to the one true God you will be crushed. You will be exposed to the plagues listed here and chapter 17.
- This can be something as simple as being too busy to go to church – kid’s soccer – softball – dad’s golf time, you name it.
- But when the church says “let’s take some Sabbath time on Sunday morning – perhaps Saturday night or Wednesday night – let’s take an hour out of our lives to rest, namely to sit down, shut up and listen. Listen to whom? Listen to the Lord — and he will give you rest in his word.
- He will give you forgiveness of sins that he proclaims into your ears and the body and blood of Christ that he puts in your mouth.
- Now that I have written this out it sounds much like the God of the spa – come and be served by the Lord.
- We worship our work and we worship our play. So like those who idolize the sun so too will those with no faith be scorched by the sun – the same way with work and play. ***
9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
- You would think they would see what was happening and they would turn from their ways.
- But they cursed God. I would think they would be bargaining with God for relief. We must always keep Exodus in mind. Pharaoh during the plagues refused and knew he was losing and he is seeing the whole time and still saying “this is not God”. And he still would not bow. This is God’s purpose – to bring repentance or to show who really belongs to the beast. At this point, they all follow the beast and there is no repentance for them — none.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish
- Hitting them where it hurts. Where is this throne of the beast? – Rev 2 – Pergamum. But it is also everywhere and anywhere that God’s name is blasphemed by power.
- Who is the beast that sits on this throne? Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar or fill in the blank of recent past or present leaders who fit the description.
- Darkness – how does darkness usually work? It covers everything equally. How does biblical darkness work? It sounds like it comes only on the kingdom of the beast – such as in Egypt.
- Does the church still walk in the light as the rest of the world walks in darkness? Is this spiritual darkness? How was the darkness on the Egyptians and not on Israel? (9th plague, Ex 10:21-29 – see v.23)
- Gnawing their tongue – most of their / our sins is with our tongue.
11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
- You would think that they would curse the dragon and the beasts for leading them away from Jesus – but they blame Jesus.
- What deeds? The attacks on the people of God. Rebellion against Christ and his church.
- This is not that they could repent of their deeds at this point, but the certainty that they would not.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
- Back at the 6th trumpet – what did it say about the 4 angels ‘bound’ at the great river Euphrates? They were ready to be released – this is a repeat of that action. Rev 9:13-19.
- We see in chapter 9 John’s vision of a great army lined up at the river to be unleashed on mankind to take out 1/3rd – now the stakes are raised in the current vision to everything.
- Drying up the river is symbolizing that their life source is gone and this is a last ditch effort to fight God and his church.
- The OT examples = Ex 14 – Moses dries up the Red Sea; Joshua 3 – the Jordan river; and 2 Kings 2 – Elijah and Elisha cross the Jordan.
- God makes a way of escape for his people (symbolic of salvation) – leading them out of bondage into the promised land – and he also uses this to clear the path for those he will use in judgment of the wicked – just as he had used Assyria and Babylon to judge Israel and Judah.
13 And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.
- We will see what seems to be God inviting the dragon and the beasts to come out and fight a battle – but he will turn the tables. It sounds much like Egypt being lured into the Red Sea.
- What is the nature of this fight? The dragon, the beast and the false prophet are spewing out frogs (unclean spirits). Is this a real physical battle or is this on a spiritual level based on false teachings – not battle axes.
- This is how the devil does battle – with false teachings. Remember what it says in Ephesians 6:10-12 = “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
- The battles with the devil are always spiritual or symbolic – as we will see later in the Battle of Armageddon.