Revelation 15 & 16

These two chapters detail God’s awesome judgment, the “grape harvest” of chapter 14.  Seven angels are prepared with bowls containing the seven final plagues, “with them the wrath of God is completed.”  As they leave the heavenly temple it is filled with smoke just as the earthly tabernacle and Solomon’s temple were at their consecration.   The bowls of judgment are poured our in rapid succession.  There is no more opportunity for salvation.  The offer is revoked.  There is one thing important to keep in mind when reading this chapter.   We read it from a place of power, as individuals, in an age that seeks “fairness.”  In a very real way our lives are positively intertwined with the powers of this age (i.e., political, economic, social, etc).  Consequently the talk of God’s wrath is difficult for us.  The early Christians lived in a very different world.  They were powerless with no expectation that this would change.  The world around them was obviously unfair.  Those with power exploited it to their benefit.  That’s what everyone expected.  The Christians themselves expected to suffer in such a world.  Therefore they read these judgments with joy understanding not just that their suffering was over but that the age itself is closing so that the reign of God can begin.

About bob

I am a Vineyard pastor and a passionate student of the Bible with an instinctive distrust of "business as usual" when it comes to the story of the Bible. Gratefully I have the opportunity to dig a little deeper and my purpose with this blog is to share what I discover.

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