9. a. First six bowl judgments and similar plagues
When the first angel poured out his bowl on the earth, horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.
Exodus 9:8-11 God instructed Moses to toss soot into the air. The ash dust spread over the whole land of Egypt and caused festering boils to break out on people and animals.
When the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, it became like the blood of a corpse. Everything in the sea died.
Exodus 7:14-25 Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! The fish died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. The plague lasted seven days.
Revelation 8:8-9 The second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea became blood, one-third of all living things in the sea died, and one-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed.
When the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, the water turned to blood.
Revelation 8:10-11 (NLT) When the third angel blew his trumpet, a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch. One-third of the rivers and one-third of the springs turned bitter. Many people died from drinking it.
When the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, the sun scorched everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and the cursed the name of God.
Deuteronomy 28:22 Among other disasters, this curse includes scorching heat and drought.
2 Peter 3:7 Before the day of judgment, the ungodly will scoff at God. They deliberately forget that He destroyed the ancient world with flood waters. By the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. God is poised, ready to speak His word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics. (NLT and MSG)
When the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores.
When Moses lifted his hand to the sky, a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days.
When the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance. Three demonic spirits that looked like frogs leaped from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are ones who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great day of God, the Almighty.
God sent a plague of frogs over all the land of Egypt. Frogs covered the land. They were in their houses, their food, on their beds and on the people. Pharaoh’s magicians also produced the same miracle. The magicians apparently couldn’t get rid of the frogs. When Moses cried out to the Lord, all the frogs died. The Egyptians piled the dead frogs into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land.
b. God’s power over creation
The judgments show God’s power over creation. These plagues were supernatural, uncommon events. They weren’t normal occurrences.
I don’t believe every destructive storm or wind or earthquake is God’s judgment. The earth groans. If it is, why did the hurricane induced flood in New Orleans miss Bourbon Street?
10. a. Lack of repentance
Pharaoh begged Moses to ask God to remove the plagues. Afterward, he again hardened his heart. Likewise, the people who experienced the bowl judgments cursed God and did not repent of their sins. They did not turn to God and give him glory or worship Him.
b. Personal question
I don’t think I’ve ever hardened my heart and rejected God to that degree. A display of God’s power has the opposite effect on most people, I’d think. I would with me.
I have battled with doubt and lack of trust at times. God is so patient. Like the Good Shepherd that He is, He always comes looking for me.
11. Everyone deserves God’s judgment.
Because of His kindness and goodness, God withholds judgment for a long time. That season of mercy lulls people into complacency.
Fear of judgment doesn’t seem to cause people with hardened hearts to turn toward God. However, God’s goodness/kindness is intended to lead us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Jesus demonstrated God’s love by working many miraculous signs and wonders.
Jesus, Peter, and Paul often warned about the wrath to come and called for repentance. So did John the Baptist.
I have to admit, I’m not good at warning people. Or summarizing the gospel in a simple way. I need to be better about it.
The following example by Greg Laurie is simple. His ministry website also has other examples.
The gospel is the message that we are all separated from God because of our sin. The result of this sin is an emptiness, an ever-present guilt, and a certain fear of death. Yet, because God loved us, in spite of our rebellion, He sent His own Son to die in our place and to bridge the gap between Him and ourselves. What is the Gospel?
Do you have a favorite simple summary? How do you share?
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 20 Day 4
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