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.