S (Scripture): Revelation 16:5b “You are just – the one who is and who was, the Holy One – because you have passed these judgments, 6 because they poured out the blood of your saints and prophets, so you have given them blood to drink. They got what they deserved!”
7 Then I heard the altar reply, “Yes, Lord God, the All-Powerful, your judgments are true and just!”
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast so that darkness covered his kingdom, and people began to bite their tongues because of their pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their sufferings and because of their sores, but nevertheless they still refused to repent of their deeds.
O (Observation): 7 angels with a bowl of wrath for each angel to pour out on the earth. At this point, 5 bowls are poured out. The bowls are apparently filled with the blood of the saints and prophets. This is like salt in a wound to those who are not repentant. The people either repent, at this point, or dig themselves deeper into their stubbornness.
A (Application): I’m not one to dwell on punishment for sins. I’m just not. Sin is its own punishment, for it puts a divide between us and God, or between us and others.
Punishment for sins is perhaps where my biggest problem with Revelation persists. I hear of Jesus talk of judgment even in the Gospels at times, but I just don’t see this is as the main motivating factor to draw one to repentance. Rather, grace draws us in.
I will say, however, that a “story” such as this can serve the purpose of helping someone like me to fear and love God so that I might be saved. Fear, that is, in terms of respect, or to be in awe of God. Not so much a worry that God might smite me : )
I struggle with a short temper with my family at times. My wife and kids don’t deserve that. When I seek repentance in those relationships, the wonder and grace of God reigns down on me in ways unimaginable. Nothing draws me in like God’s grace.
What are you lacking for in terms of repentance? How does receiving God’s grace transform you?
P (Prayer): Lord, motivate us in whatever way necessary. As your servants, we hope to respond. Amen.