Revelation 16:9 “They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.”
I don’t really understand this verse. In fact, I have done four Bible studies on Revelation and am still very confused. Post-trib, pre-trib, dispensationalist… what? However, as hard as it is to understand, the Lord says we will be blessed by studying this book… so I try.
This verse is in the context of the seven last plagues. God warns against false worship: Rev 14:9, and continues to give chances to those who are consistently sinning. God is a God of mercy but displays that He has come to the end of His allowance for sin in Revelation 15:1. The verse above, Revelation 16:1, is at the end of the probationary period for sinners. God states:
New International Version (NIV)
11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
This is a strange thing for God to say… considering that in the rest of the Bible He has consistently told us to flee from sin. However, there will come a time when it is too late. There will come a time when I won’t be able to say… I hope I can overcome my bitterness and anger… because I am not promised tomorrow.
Not to be a “dana downer” (I love puns)… but studying Revelation really makes me realize that we are not promised tomorrow… not even close.
God wants us to turn our back on sin today. He wants us to release control to Him today.
My thorn in the flesh is still a process and for me to say that I am able to release control completely today would be a lie. However, studying passages like this make me realize the importance of understanding releasing control to the Lord. The importance of letting the little things go… and the importance of not letting sin have any control over me.
Fortunately, I am covered by His grace and one day the thorns won’t be a problem (I can’t say the same for the people God is addressing in Revelation though). However, I know that this life will be better the more I am made into the image of Christ: that means letting go of the things that are not pleasing to Him.