July 30 - Source of God's Wrath

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30 - Source of God's Wrath
Revelation 14:15-20; 15:5-8; 16:1, 17

One of the most difficult things for me to process in Revelation was the fact that there was a point in time when God would no longer have mercy on earth, but his wrath would pour down.  As New Testament Christians, we count on knowing this God who sent his Son to earth in order to pay for our sins.

We really don’t have much experience with the God who allowed his children to be taken into exile  … away from their homes.  Oh, sometimes we might complain about feel far from God, but while these things happen to us on an individual level, it’s never as massive a punishment as God delivered to the Israelites.

But in the last days, the earth will face wrath at a level unmatched by anything in human history and it will be very clear whose wrath it really is. There will be no question, there will be no reason to wonder.

In Revelation 14:15, we see an angel come out of God’s temple to order the beginning of the great harvest, saying ‘the time to reap has come.’  Then, in Revelation 14:17, another angel comes from the temple.  A third angel, who is described as charge of the fire, came from the altar.

In Revelation 15:5-8, seven angels come out of the temple with the seven plagues. They received seven bowls filled with the wrath of God from one of the four living creatures. The smoke from the glory of God and from his power filled the temple. No one could go back in until the seven plagues of the seven angels was completed.

All of this was just the setup.  In Revelation 16:1 we read, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.’

The number seven refers to heavenly completion.  God’s wrath is full and complete.  Devastation will be as well. It will be finished at some point. Revelation 16:17 says, “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’”  The rest of earth was finally devastated; earthquakes ripped open the earth, cities collapsed, islands sank into the sea, mountains were crumbled; hundred pound hailstones fell on the earth.  And mankind cursed God.

From the temple of God comes mercy and wrath.