May 18 2022
Today, Wednesday May 18
“The Nations Were Angry”
Revelation 11:15-19 “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”
When the seventh angel blew the trumpet, three dramatic events occurred: First, an announcement of victory (v. 15). Secondly, an acclamation of praise (vv. 16-18). And third, an assurance of God's faithfulness (v. 19).
Now here in Rev. 11:16-18, we have an acclamation of praise from the twenty-four elders, who give thanks for three special blessings: that Christ reigns supremely (Rev. 11:17), that He judges righteously (Rev. 11:18), and that He rewards graciously (Rev. 11:18).
"The nations were angry." What do the nations have to be angry about? Certainly the Lord has been good and gracious to them. He has provided their needs (Acts 14:15-17; 17:24-31), assigned their territories, and graciously postponed His judgment to give men opportunity to be saved. Even more, He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Today, God offers forgiveness to the nations! What more could He do for them?
Then, why are the nations angry? Because they want to have their own way. "Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." (Ps. 2:1-3). They want to worship and serve the creature instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Like adolescent children, the nations want to cast off all restraint; and God will permit them to do so. The result will be another "Babylon" (Rev. 17-18), man's last attempt to build his Utopia, a "heaven on earth."
Note the change in attitude shown by the nations of the world. In Revelation 11:2, the nations ruthlessly take over Jerusalem. In Revelation 11:9, they rejoice at the death of the two witnesses. Then when the two witnesses resurrected and ascended into the clouds, they experienced great fear (vv. 11-3). But now they are angry; their arrogance and joy did not last very long. This belligerent attitude finally will cause the nations to unite to fight God at the great battle of Armageddon. Arrogance, aggression, rejoicing, fear and then anger! We see these same attitudes in those who reject God and His ways even today!
"And Thy wrath is come." Satan's wrath, as cruel as it is, is no match for God's wrath (Rev. 12:17). There was intense suffering in the first half of the Tribulation, but only the last half will reveal the wrath of God (Rev. 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15). God's anger is not an outburst of temper; it is holy indignation against sin. God's anger is not dispassionate, for He hates sin and loves righteousness and justice; but neither is it temperamental and unpredictable.
"And the time of the dead, that they should be judged" takes us to the very end of God's prophetic program. In one sense, every day is a "day of the Lord" because God is always judging righteously. God is longsuffering toward lost sinners and often postpones judgment, but there will be a final judgment of sinners and none will escape. This judgment is described in Revelation 20:11-15.
Psalm 2, that describes the anger of the nations, ends with these words of instruction that we should heed today! “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 2:10-12)