Saturday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 16:8-11

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.

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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