May 26, 2022 – Thursday
Revelation 16:8-11 NIV
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony
11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
This chapter begins with, 1 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.” Our verses today concern the fourth and fifth angels. Turn to the chapter to read about the first three and the sixth and seventh. We will focus on the fourth and fifth angels and the call to repent that was refused.
Let’s look at verses 8 and 9 first, 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. There would be no air-conditioning, there would only be overwhelming heat from the sun. I remember growing up and we called very hot humid days, the dog days of August. We did not have air-conditioning back then in the late 1950s and up through the mid 1960’s. Fans and blowers were set up, but all they did was move the hot humid air around. It was miserable even when sleeping as the sweating continued even then. The heat after the fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun will be worse, much worse. Frankly, I cannot imagine such intense heat, nor such pride and stubbornness that those being offered the opportunity to repent would instead curse the name of God and refuse to glorify Him.
When I think about this, it is as if God is giving a small taste of what Hell would be like while providing a chance to avoid it. Jesus did this as well in the parable about the rich man and the beggar. In Luke 16 Jesus provides a real glimpse of Hell when both the rich man died and the beggar died as well. Jesus described it this way in verses 22-24, 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
The rich man was engulfed in flames and in agony and wished only for a single drop of water, a single drop of water. How terrible it must be there in the flames. Read the full parable here and be aware of how terrible God’s judgment can be for the unrepentant.
Now let’s look at verses 10-11, 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. The Believer’s Bible Commentary simply says, This adds to men’s suffering because they are not able to travel for relief from the preceding afflictions. But it does not soften their hearts. They only become more settled in their hatred of God. But I thought there was more and looked at the Expositor’s Bible Commentary and found the following: “The throne of the beast” symbolizes the seat of the world-wide dominion of the great satanic system of idolatry. This system is plunged into spiritual darkness or disruption, bringing chaos on all who sought life and meaning in it. This bowl plague, while similar to the fifth trumpet, strikes at the very seat of satanic authority over the world; and the darkness is moral and spiritual rather than physical. I would only disagree with plunging the world into spiritual darkness as it was already there in spiritual darkness with the worship of satanic authority.
Bottom Line: Once again, it is best to repent now and get right with God to avoid any chance of having to repent during the Great Tribulation.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Let us know of anything in our hearts we need to repent of so that we may remain in Your will. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton