1) The end is going to be big! What are the big ways God will bring about His judgment through the seven bowls?
2) What does it mean for God to be just? How does God’s justice impact His final judgment?
3) How is it possible that man will suffer through all the terrible plagues of the last days and yet refuse to repent? How does this same attitude show itself today?
Chapter 16 is full of the big ways that God will bring about His final judgments upon the world. Variations of the Greek word “megas” are found throughout the chapter. The call to action is brought through a mega voice (1); the intensity of the sun is shown through its mega heat (9); the Euphrates is seen as a mega river (12); the timing of the final battle will be on the mega day (14); it is a mega earthquake (18) that brings about destruction, along with the mega hailstones (21) that fall from the sky. Indeed, the end is going to be big!
Throughout our time in Revelation, we have marveled at the patience and restraint that God displays. He delays His judgment, giving people the opportunity to repent and respond to His offer of new life. However, it is finally time for the end and in the midst of pouring out the bowls of God’s final judgments we are reminded that God is just in doing what He does. “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” Revelation 16:7
Three times in this chapter we read about people cursing God because of their suffering during the final plagues (verses 9, 11 and 21). Twice we read that in spite of this suffering they refuse to repent (verses 9 and 11). Compare these reactions during the end times to what we read in Jeremiah 5:3: “O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” The heart of man is incredibly stubborn, even referred to as stone. Apart from God’s intervention, our hearts will remain contrary to Him, regardless of what happens. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26