Friday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 16:1-7

It Is What They Deserve

“Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for You brought these judgments.  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink.  It is what they deserve!” (Italics added.)

In the Bible, the true God is revealed.  He is not like men think He is.  When men make a God, they create him after their own image.  This is clearly seen in pagan religion where the gods take human form for the purpose of engaging in various sexual escapades.  The gods are capricious and even work against one another.  In eastern religion, the gods finally swallow up their worshipers in a Nirvana of nothingness.  In Islam Allah wants obedience to the point of murder-suicide.  These are the gods men create, and behind each one of them lurks a very real demon.

In the liberal and enlightened West, no one would ever believe that God is anything but love.  This kind of thinking even dominates the thoughts of many church-goers.  It doesn’t occur to them that God’s judgments also express that same loving God.  However, God hates sin.  His holy nature will not tolerate it, for it cannot, lest He cease being God, which is impossible.  God must judge sin, and His judgments are expressions of that same great love that saves men, for “when the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).

God disciplines His people that they may grow in holiness and wisdom (Hebrews 12:7-11).  But the wicked God must punish in order to vindicate His name against which men have sinned.  Furthermore, Revelation is about the persecution God’s people endure at the hands of unbelievers.  God allows this to continue for a time, but there must come a recompense or else God is not God but a celestial Santa Clause who sees no evil in anyone, or uncaring for the sufferings of His people.  A loving God judges the wicked.

We noted yesterday that these bowls are final: They are not partial but complete and call not for repentance—which evil men refuse to give anyway.  The judgments recall the plagues on Egypt under Moses.  The first three concern boils (a mark for those who bear the mark of the beast) and the seas and rivers turning to blood.

It is what they deserve.  And God is no less loving for pouring His judgments out upon them—though He would be less God if He didn’t.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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