Revelation 16

There is an amazing correlation between the plagues here and the plagues in Exodus 7-12. Here are some important lessons we can take from the passage:

  • When God judges, it’s appropriate and deserved, even if it seems harsh to us. He is just and holy (16:4).
  • Some think that when God turned the Nile to blood (Exodus 7:14-24) it was symbolic because of the fact that the Egyptians drowned the children of the Hebrews there. The blood poured out here (16:6) should probably remind us of the image of the martyrs under the altar crying out for judgment (6:9-10). Once again, the appropriateness of God’s judgment is displayed.
  • And what a judgment it is (16:17-21)! The city of Babylon is sometimes thought to be Rome or Jerusalem. Regardless, it is seen as the center of the unsaved world. One day it will be completely destroyed, and all the ungodly nations will collapse.
  • But as bad as all of these judgments are, people still refuse to repent, and they blaspheme God (16:11, 21). The hard heartedness of people is hard to imagine, but it also reminds us of the need for God’s Spirit to get us to understand (John 16:8-11).
  • The Euphrates drying up to allow the passage of the armies (16:12) is playing on the fears from that time regarding the Parthians. Revelation 16:12-14 reminds us that there has been an ongoing battle between the forces of darkness and God. They do have some power and will deceive the nations (16:13-14), but God is all powerful and will be victorious. We don’t need to fear!
  • But we do need to be ready. The Lord is coming like a thief (3:3; 16:15), and we don’t want to be unprepared. The warning here reminds us of God’s message to the church in Laodicea (3:14-22). We need to stay alert, because we want to be properly clothed when Jesus returns!

Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond.”

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