"The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. 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. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!' And I heard the altar saying, 'Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!'" - Revelation 16:4-7
In this chapter, John describes seven angels who pour out seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth, on the seas, on the rivers, on the sun, on the throne of the beast, on the river Euphrates, and into the air. Is it fair for God to exercise judgment in this way? The answer is yes. God's judgments are just, holy, and true. The people who dwell on the earth at the time these judgments take place will be ones who have killed believers and prophets. This is their just punishment.
We must come to agree with God's way of doing things. We generally don't like the idea of judgment, especially when it concerns ourselves and our loved ones. Judgment is not a pleasant topic. But nevertheless judgment is necessary in our broken, fallen, rebellious world, whether we feel good about it or not. As Flannery O'Connor said, “Truth does not change by our ability to stomach it emotionally.” Those who kill believers will have their comeuppance.
Father, thank you for your judgments. It is just, holy, and true for you to judge the world in the way the Bible describes. May we be on board with your judgments. Thank you we don't have to exercise judgment ourselves. We would do a very poor job of it. We leave judgment to you, for you will exercise it perfectly. Bring justice to our world and end evil once for all. Thank you for saving us out of evil by your grace through the finished work of our Lord Jesus Messiah. In his name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman