Fourth Angel Curse
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61. Fourth Angel Curse
Revelation 16.8-11

"The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. The intense heat seared them, and they cursed God's name, who controlled these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the beast's throne and plunged its kingdom into darkness. People in agony gnawed their tongues and cursed heaven's God because of their pains and sores. But they refused to repent of what they had done." (Revelation 16.8-11)✞

Fire and Judgement

SunThe Scriptures often interconnect fire with judgment. In Revelation 16.10, "The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire." The fourth angel was also active earlier in Revelation 8.12, "The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and struck a third of the sun, moon, and stars so that they turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night." The people realized that they came from God because they cursed him for sending these new judgments. But still, they refused to repent and to recognize God's authority. Christians should not be surprised at unbelievers' hostility and hardness of heart. Even when God fully and completely reveals the intensity of his power, many will still refuse repentance and curse God's name.✞

Scorching Heat

The fourth terror is the sun's scorching of the world. The fifth is of thick darkness reminiscent of Egypt's blackness in Exodus 10.21-23. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt — that people can feel.' So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived." We note this miracle's second part that Israel's people have light where they dwell, but the Egyptians cannot even see one another. The darkness is so intense that "people could feel it." In the countryside in Ontario, Canada, where my wife and I lived, there were no visible city lights on some nights, and it was pitch black! One could almost feel the intensity of the darkness!

Unrepentant People

Unrepentant CriminalA repentance refrain runs through Revelation 16. The people on whom these terrors fall curse God, but they refuse to repent, impervious to both God's goodness and severity. We are bound to ask ourselves if we are any different today. We may not doubt God's existence, and we know of God's love for us and concern for the created world. We are well aware of God's laws and his goodness. We even know from Romans 11.22 of "God sternness to the fallen, but kindness to you provided that you continue in his kindness." Sin has its punishment, and yet repeatedly, we go our selfish and sinful way. Despite everything, Christians rely on God's kindness to us.✞

"What is the fourth angel curse?"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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