Revelation 16:1-9: Costing the earth.
“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.’2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped its image.3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:
‘You are just in these judgments, O Holy One,
you who are and who were;
6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’
7 And I heard the altar respond:‘Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.’8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 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.” NIV
This morning, I read this short synopsis of a new book:
‘‘Based on his explosive whole-issue New York Times Magazine article of 2018, Losing Earth is journalist Nathaniel Rich’s revelatory exposé of how those in power have consistently failed to act in the face of clear warnings of catastrophic climate change. From misinterpreted science to government links with Big Energy, Rich’s sobering account pulls no punches, bringing to the fore evidence which, as the New York Times writes, ‘posterity will find hard to believe, and impossible to forgive.’ ‘’
I haven’t read this book and I can’t vouch for anything in it, but one thing we do know is that mankind has done serious damage to this planet. Like a dog treated with persistent cruelty, it is likely to bite back. Tom Wright, in ‘Revelation for Everyone’ says:
‘The point at issue in these first four plagues is fairly simple. God will allow natural elements themselves (earth, sea, rivers and sun) to pass judgment on the human beings who have so grievously abused their position as God’s image-bearers within creation. They are supposed to be looking after God’s world, and caring for one another as fellow humans. But God will call the natural elements themselves to turn on them and judge them for their wickedness.’ P.142.