Like a Thief

Kenneth Kuiper

READ : Revelation 16:1-21

As the coming of the Lamb draws near, great judgments occur as the seven “bowls” of God’s wrath are poured out. The first four affect the land, sea, rivers, and sun. The fifth will be upon the kingdom of the beast itself. The sixth causes the nations to gather for the climactic battle of Armageddon. The seventh brings a huge earthquake, mammoth hailstones, and the total break-up of the physical world.

What in this chapter should be taken literally and what is symbolic is hard to know. But, surely, fierce judgment and devastating destruction are portrayed.

Three truths stand out. First, God is just. These are not judgments against “innocent” people. They are the result of rebellion against God and persecution of His church. Surely, verse 7 is correct: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your judgments.”

Second, we see the depth of man’s rebellion. For, in spite of these judgments, they “refused to repent of what they had done, and cursed the God of heaven”! As the world crumbles, sinful man shakes his fist in God’s face, refusing to abandon his evil! Imagine!

And, third, we hear Jesus’ words: “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him….” What a powerful word to us! See the destiny of this earth and its kingdoms do not set your heart on them! Set your heart on God! Be dressed and ready for the Lamb when He comes!


Lord, give us grace to stay awake and be ready! Amen!