Peeling the Onion: Revelation 16:1-11

Friday and Saturday, wWe get the bowls of wrath, the harvest of the grapes of wrath, 5 poured out Friday, 2 Saturday. Can you recall the plagues in Egypt? Who suffered each time: Egyptian owners, or Hebrew slaves?

The plagues here are ugly – and target what was thought beautiful the waters are polluted,like blood, to kill all water creatures less of an imaginative stretch for us now. Like commentators at a spectacle, the angel of the waters speaks, like a pundit, an expert in the field ‘that’s fair’ – a logical consequence. And the altar responds (rather, the martyrs sheltering under the altar). That’s right!

Like a mob of sports fanatics in a winning moment (losing moment for the other side) passing the midpoint of the 7 plagues, with scorching fiery heat as the 4th, and darkness in the kingdom of the beast as the 5th We can associate the loss of an ozone layer, or any climate or ecological disaster – the key again is the response, this time from the suffering supporters of the beast – they curse God, unrepentant, incorrigible, angry, chewing their own tongues. But unable to admit the moral revelation…

Sound like any climate change deniers to you?

NJB
Emptying 3 Bowls of Wrath

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary calling to the seven angels, 'Go, and empty the seven bowls of God's anger over the earth.'

2 The first angel went and emptied his bowl over the earth; at once, on all the people who had been branded with the mark of the beast and had worshipped its statue, there came disgusting and virulent sores.

3 The second angel emptied his bowl over the sea, and it turned to blood, like the blood of a corpse, and every living creature in the sea died.

4 The third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and springs of water and they turned into blood.

5 Then I heard the angel of water say, 'You are the Upright One, He who is, He who was, the Holy One, for giving this verdict:

6 they spilt the blood of the saints and the prophets, and blood is what you have given them to drink; it is what they deserve.'

7 And I heard the altar itself say, 'Truly, Lord God Almighty, the punishments you give are true and just.'

NSRV
1st 5 of 7 Bowls of Wrath

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.’

2 So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and a foul and painful sore came on those who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped its image.

3 The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died.

4 The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.

5And I heard the angel of the waters say, ‘You are just, O Holy One, who are and were, for you have judged these things;

6 because they shed the blood of saints and prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!’

7And I heard the altar respond, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgements are true and just!’

8 The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire;

9they were scorched by the fierce heat, but they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory.

10 The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness; people gnawed their tongues in agony,

11and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores, and they did not repent of their deeds.