And They Did Not Repent of Their Deeds
I begin with the same passage as yesterday after the second and third plagues whereby all the drinking water in the world had been turned to blood:
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 (16:5-6)!
In today’s passage, the fourth bowl is poured out upon the sun to “scorch people with fire.” This is not “climate change”; this is a direct judgment of God upon wicked men. What’s more, the wicked know it, for they “cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues.” And this is how the hard-hearted reprobates responded to God’s judgment: “They did not repent and give Him glory.” So then they are met with a fifth plague. This time the bowl is poured directly on the throne of the beast, “and its kingdom was plunged into darkness.” This seems to be a reference to worldwide confusion and chaos as the beast’s kingdom begins to fall beneath the weight of its own graft, self-serving laws, and pretensions of deity. We surmise economic and political turmoil as “people gnawed their tongues in anguish.” Yet, even in the gnawing, their tongues could still curse God. And no matter what righteous judgments fell upon them, “They did not repent of their deeds.”
This is man in his sin—darkened of mind and hardened of heart. He cannot repent because he will not, and will not because he cannot. He is caught in the mystery of iniquity: He hates his sin, but he loves his sin; he loves his sin, but he hates his sin. What he wants is to have his sin and love it without pang of conscience and righteous judgment. But God will not allow him this. And so he hates God even more than his sin. God would have him free from his sin, but man wants to be free in his sin—which is impossible. One must be a slave; one must have a master. He either serves his sinful nature and experiences degradation, or he serves the Lord and experiences eternal felicity. And because the man cannot have his sin along with freedom and contentment, he curses God who would give him freedom and felicity, instead. The true God, grace and mercy, eternal life—all these things cost too much for this man, for they require a turning from his sin, and this he will not do, sinking ever so much deeper, so that he cannot do. Aslan said it best: “Everyone gets what they want; they do not always like it.