Revelation 16:1–16 (ESV)
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
16 Then I heard a loud voice from the
temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”
the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.
4 The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say,
“Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was,
for you brought these judgments.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
and you have given
them blood to drink.
It is what they deserve!”
7 And I heard the altar saying,
“Yes, Lord God the Almighty,
true and just are your judgments!”
8 The fourth angel poured out his
bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11 and
cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
12 The sixth angel poured out his
bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13 And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the
false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16 And they assembled them
at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
As the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out, all those worshiping false gods and refusing to repent of their sins are afflicted
with terrible plagues. Tragically, there are even some within the Church who persist in this or that vice, stubbornly refusing to repent, and so put their very salvation in peril. Through Baptism, however, the Lord clothes His people with the perfect righteousness
of His Son. The Holy Spirit leads God’s children away from the plagues of judgment and keeps them on the winning side in the final battle.
I pray: Heavenly Father,
I thank You for adopting me as Your own through Baptism into Christ. By Your Word and Holy Supper, keep me in Your salvation so that I will remain with You forever. Grant me strength during these last days to be faithful to You always. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2224.