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Summary: The Revelation serves as a warning to us all. Fear and repentance is the proper response to God’s judgment. May we never indulge in soul’s boast that only invites destruction, for He humbles the proud, but exalts the humble.

Revelation 16

TRANSLATION

12. And the sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way for the kings of the East could be prepared.

13. And I saw from 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

14. For they are spirits of demons working signs, which go out to the kings of all inhabitants to gather them to the battle of the great day of Almighty God

15. “Look! I come like a thief, o how blessed is the one who is watching and keeping his garments clean, so as not to walk naked and they see his shame.”

16. And he gathered them into the place called in Hebrew Armageddon

17. And the seventh poured out his bowl on the air, and a great voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

18. And there was lightening, and voices, and thunders, and there was a huge earthquake, such as had never been since men were upon the earth, such a great earthquake, and so big.

19. And the great city became three parts, and the city of the nations fell, and Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of his anger and fury.

20. And all islands fled, and mountains were not found

21. And great hail, like 35 kilos, came out of heaven upon men, and men blasphemed God, because of the plague of hail, for it was exceedingly large.

COMMENTARY

v 12 Euphrates see 9:14-15; and Gen 15:18. East is literally the Rising Sun.

v 13-14 Frogs again look like the plagues of Egypt (Ex 8:2-13). Demonic influences come from the three unholy ones to go to battle against God. Gathering looks like Zech 12:9; 14:1-3. It’s difficult to imagine any army or collection of armies deciding to fight against Almighty God. We’ll see later, this isn’t much of a battle. The armies are destroyed with a word (Revelation 19:15).

v 15 Blessed, this is the third of the seven beatitudes in Rev. Pure is defined in 1 John 3:2-3.

v 16 Armageddon, literally Har, mountain, Megiddo.

v 17 It is done, should sound rather familiar (15:1; John 19:30). This is, finally, the last of the judgments from God to be poured out on the earth. It may seem strange that this statement comes a few chapters before the end of human history, but everything that follows is epilogue. The end of human history has come with this final outpouring of God’s wrath.

v 18-20 Earthquake see 6:2.

v 21 Hail looks like another plague of Egypt (Exodus 9:22-26; Rev 8:7; 11:19). The size, obviously, is terrible and frightening. 80 pound ice chunks falling from the sky would destroy most houses and vehicles, and unprotected people and animals, with only a few strikes. Millions of ice boulders falling from the sky would bring unimaginable devastation.

DEVOTIONAL

War and Disaster

War. Today there is war in Syria, where more than nine million people have been displaced. On the border of Turkey that conflict has resulted in tens of thousands of lives lost in bombings. This is a small picture of what life was like in the last century, with more than 100,000,000 people lost in war. In the past week we’ve seen a number of signs of the times. Cape Town announced that theirs will be the first major city in the world to run out of water; they anticipate their reserves will drop below safe levels within roughly two months. There was a massive earthquake near Alaska, 7.9 on the Richter Scale, and the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board reset the “Doomsday Clock” to two minutes to midnight-thirty seconds closer to the end of human history. Yes, that was all in the news just last week. Jesus said such things are not really signs, but are the beginnings of the birth pangs. These images give us a small taste, a nibble of the feast of fury that awaits humanity one day soon.

James said all wars come from our corrupt hearts (James 4). War is by its nature destructive and inhumane. It is the explosive expression of the worst of our humanity, its flame casting a dismal silhouetted shadow of our dark souls against the earth. As God brings judgment the earth itself, the sun, the moon, and nearby creation-meteors, all conspire together to bring an end the wreck of our uncivil civilization. And in the wake of a disaster that is merely a natural reflection of our unnatural destructive force, humanity continues to speak against (blaspheme) God. William Henley expressed this perverse attitude in his great poem Invictus:

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