Summary: Fourth Bowl Judgment
Revelation 16:8-9, “Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. 9Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who sent all of these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”
The sun since the fourth day of creation (Gen 1:14-19), given the world light, warmth and energy, becomes a deadly killer. Searing heat will scorch men so that the atmosphere will seem to be on fire. These people will be those, “people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image” (V.2).
This judgment is reminiscent of Isaiah 24:4-6, “4The earth dries up, the crops wither, the skies refuse to rain. 5The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted the instructions of God, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. 6Therefore, a curse consumes the earth and its people. They are left desolate, destroyed by fire. Few will be left alive.”
As a result of the heat we can expect the polar ice caps to melt. This will then result in the rise of the ocean’s water which are already turned blood red resulting in inundating coastal regions which will flood areas miles inland with the noxious waters of the dead oceans filled with blood. Widespread damage and loss of life will accompany that flooding, adding further to the unspeakable misery of the devastated planet. Transportation by sea will then become impossible.
One would think that these judgments would cause these people who reject the Messiah to soften their hearts and come to repentance. God’s judgments are designed to call sinners to repentance (Romans 2:4), or, like Pharaoh, to harden their hearts. Instead of blaming their sin, in the most shocking example of hardness of heart in history, “they cursed the name of God, who sent all of these plagues.” Even though God has revealed His mercy and love during this time they will still blame God. This, for us just points to the fact that humanity loves its sin so much and be so deceived by Antichrist that “they did not repent and give him glory.” Up to this point only Antichrist has been described as blaspheming (13:1, 5-6); here though the world adopts his evil character. Neither grace nor wrath will move their wicked hearts to repentance (9:20-21; 16:11). In 11:13 the earthquake brought some to repentance, but not in this judgment series. Such blind, blasphemous hardness of heart is incredible in the face of the devastating judgments they will be undergoing. But like their evil leader, Antichrist, they will continue to hate God and refuse to repent, which would give glory to God as a just and righteous Judge of sin (Josh 7:19-25).