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Revelation

Revelation 16: Just and True are Your Judgments

Have you ever noticed how much we dislike the word “judgment”?  I feel it good to just mention this because we’ve been talking SO MUCH about God’s judgments!  What does the word judgment really mean?  Why do we fear it so?  Basically judging means declaring something right or wrong.  What’s so bad about that?  Well, on a personal level, we hate to be told we are wrong!  But, the Bible actually tells us that it is good to judge yourself personally in light of the Word, to make sure you’re not straying away from the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).  It also says that we are to judge those in the church who are not living according to the Word (I Corinthians 5:12-13) — the goal of course is to restore them to right fellowship with God (Galatians 6:1). 
 
Yesterday’s reading, chapter 15 told us that God’s judgments are “Great and Marvelous” (15:3).  Do you think of them that way?  They are good!  They are GREAT!  Why?  Because the goal of God’s judgments is to finally make all the wrong things right, and to destroy everything that has destroyed us and to remove everything that has stood in the way of us and His love!!  We get so frustrated by the tension of life today when life “isn’t fair”, when we’re mistreated (and we want revenge, but the Lord says “vengeance if Mine”), or we just feel distanced from God and long for the gap to be gone, when evil prevails, etc.  Well, God’s judgments are the answer to all of that!!  He will finally vindicate all that is good and destroy all that is evil!!  What a glorious day that will be!
 
No wonder the glory of God was rising with such power as these last bowls are being unveiled in chapter 15 (15:8)!  May we be able to confidently agree with the testimony of today’s reading:  “Just and true are your judgments!” (verse 7)  He always judges rightly and fairly.  What ever He does is good.  He can never be accused of anything else.
 
The 7 bowls of wrath (3rd Judgment series) recall the ten plagues of Egypt (Exod 7-12):
First bowl (Sores): painful sores on those who worship the Antichrist (Rev. 16:1-2)
Second bowl (Food Supply): destroying the sea with blood and killing all in it (Rev. 16:3)
Third bowl (Water Supply): poisoning the earth’s fresh water with blood (Rev. 16:4-7)
Fourth bowl (Torment): scorching heat and fire from the sun (Rev. 16:8-9)
Fifth bowl (Destruction): darkness on the Antichrist’s global empire (Rev. 16:10-11)
Sixth bowl (Global Guilt): deceiving the nations to come to Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16)
Seventh Bowl (Annihilation): shaking by earthquakes and hail stones (Rev. 16:17-21)
 
In the middle of the explanation of the bowls, between the sixth and seventh, the voice of Jesus suddenly breaks in!!!  (v.15)  “Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” 
 
What do you make of that?  (Really, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)
 
This brings a few Scriptures to mind for me…
 
Luke 12:37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. 
Matthew 25:13 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. 
 
-Our lives are supposed to be watchful, waiting, eagerly anticipating His return — readying ourselves, and those around us to receive Him as Bridegroom, King, and Judge.  Those who are watching, waiting and longing will not be caught unaware as if a thief had come.  They will be ready to partner with Him in that day.
 
Revelation 3:17-18 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 
(white clothes could refer to “the righteous acts of the saints” as in Revelation 19:8)
 
At the end of chapter 16, the kings of the earth gather to the place called Armageddon.  Do you know that they’re there to fight Jesus??!!  That’s just crazy to me!  What kind of deception would lead you to think you could fight with the God of the Universe and even stand a chance??  The earthquake and hail that the seventh bowl release on the Earth bring great devastation and terror to those on the earth who have refused the Lord. 
 
The events of this chapter are fairly clear.  What I think would be good food for meditation is
 
1.  Jesus’ words in verse 15.  I’d love to hear some of you chime in (on the blog) about some specifics and practical things you think Jesus is encouraging us in.
 
2.  Just and true are his judgments.  Give Him permission to take the searchlight of His Word and examine you and show you where you are not “right”.  I’ve heard it said, “Shock me now, Lord — don’t shock me then!”  The point being:  it’s better have a little sting of conviction today than to be found “naked and ashamed” before Jesus on that Day.  His Words are sweet, and more valuable than any riches.  Let us learn to love His law, because the Word communicates to us the essense of who He is — the Word made flesh (Jesus — see John chapter 1).   
 
Eat the Scroll!
 
Comments welcome! 
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About Jessie

Lover of God. Husband. Dad. Director of the Furnace at Michigan State University.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Revelation 16: Just and True are Your Judgments

  1. One thing i thought was so interesting is that at the end of every bowl the people curse God for doing this. So, they know that God can control EVERYTHING but they still band together to fight the God they know is putting all these judgments on them!

    Posted by Michelle Schimpke | January 19, 2009, 10:37 pm
  2. Good point! This is what hardness of heart is all about. And really it grows out of deception. May we walk in the Light so that darkness cannot have it’s way in us!

    Posted by Jessie | January 20, 2009, 8:29 pm
  3. #OHMYWORD #THESEVENBOWLJUDGEMENTSAREHERE #MouthafterMouth #IRebuketheUnholyTrinity #InJesusName #JesusSpeaks! #LikeaThief #StayAwake #BurningSun #Literally #100lbsHailstones #WUTT #BRUH #Repent! #Nowisthetime #Stingmenowbeforeitstoolate #IStillChooseJesus #LetHeavenCome

    Posted by Jonnah | November 27, 2015, 6:39 pm

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