“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
In our text, the Lord’s judgment of the religious kingdom of Satan at His second coming is in view. Whenever a person talks about the Lord’s judgment of sin, there is always a question as to why He does this. For many, the idea of a loving God flies in the face of a God that judges sin and they struggle at understanding why His judgment takes place. When we come to a Biblical understanding of why sin is judged, it helps us to understand how a loving God can judge the sinner and those who have rejected Him.
In our text we are told that the Lord who is seen judging the kingdoms of Satan is a “strong” Lord. In other words, God’s judgment of sin reveals His strength. This is one of example of how we can learn much about the personality and character of God through His displays of wrath. The revelation of Himself is one of the reasons why He displays His wrath against sinful mankind.
God judges the sin of others to reveal these five attributes that only He possesses:
- His perfect strength – When we see His judgment over the powers of this world, bringing the mighty to their knees we can see His great ability to dominate all those who oppose Him.
Psa 62:11 – “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.”
2 His perfect holiness – God’s judgment against sin clearly reveals His holiness and His hatred of sin and its results. God hates sin because sin separates us from Him and brings lasting harm upon us.
Psa 5:4 – “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.”
- His perfect justice – God’s judgment reveals His justice. Every sin must be punished, either those who commit sin will face His hand of judgment or else Christ has faced His judgment on the cross. In either case, sin was judged … no wrongdoing can go unpunished.
Jos 24:19 – “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”
- His perfect faithfulness – As a faithful God, He keeps His promises perfectly. One of those promises is that He will judge sin.
Isa 61:8 – “For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.”
- His perfect love, grace and mercy. – When we see the judgment of God falling upon lost mankind, we come to a better understanding of what we deserve and what He has graciously withheld from us. Without His wrath falling upon lost mankind, we could NEVER really come to a full understanding of His wrath and from what He has saved us.
The greatest example of this is found at the foot of His cross… on the cross we see come to understand the horrible nature of God’s judgment of sin fall upon Christ, who was punished on our behalf based upon God’s love for us….
1Pe 3:18 – “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
Joh 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Eph 5:2 – “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
Without God’s displays of wrath, we could never come to understand the greatness of His love and grace towards His people.
May we all see the greatness of our Lord in the many displays of His wrath that we can find in the Bible, events in the world around us, and especially in the events that are yet to come.
But especially, may we always be reminded of His great works on our behalf and His great love that He has shown to us by delivering us from His wrath through the giving of His Son, Jesus to die on the cross on our behalf.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: