‘IT IS DONE!’
Blessed Lord, what I need only you can give, what I ask I cannot find for myself. Come, Holy Spirit.
Read REVELATION 16:12-21
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
17 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!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds,[a] fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
- Revelation 16:21 Or about 45 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe artist Charlie Mackesy has an illustration where a boy asks his horse: ‘What’s the best thing you’ve learned about storms?’ The horse replies, ‘That they end.’*
Several allusions in today’s passage all contribute to the overall theme – the defeat of the followers of the beast, an end to evil and an end to the suffering of God’s people. The Euphrates River (v 12) symbolizes a border of the kingdom of the beast that keeps enemies out, so the drying up of the Euphrates begins the final serving of justice on the kingdom of the beast. The ‘great day of God’ (v 14b) is a symbol for a final defeat. The frogs represent demonic spirits releasing propaganda (v 13) in order to seduce the world to a great final battle called Armageddon (v 16). The final bowl (v 17) repeats the earthquake from the sixth seal (6:12) but also continues the plague motif of the Exodus.
It is ironic that the idea of Armageddon has so captured both religious and popular imagination since it is only mentioned this one time in the Bible. A focus on Armageddon as representing the abandonment and destruction of the world ignores the redemptive arc of Revelation – a book that points to the ultimate restoration of everything that is good: hope, renewal, and the final victory of God.
The Exodus motif used in Revelation is a powerful reminder that God has acted to save his people in the past and that he will act again. Recall times in your life when God has saved you. Thank him.
Lamb of God, I bow before you in thankfulness and praise. Your life was given so that I could be forgiven and restored.
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