Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, one day I will go to be with you. Keep before me that this life is only a temporary assignment.


Seven Angels With Seven Plagues

15 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
    Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
    King of the nations.[a]
Who will not fear you, Lord,
    and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
    and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”[b]

After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.


  1. Revelation 15:3 Some manuscripts ages
  2. Revelation 15:4 Phrases in this song are drawn from Psalm 111:2,3; Deut. 32:4; Jer. 10:7; Psalms 86:9; 98:2.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


‘For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.’1

Think Further

Each of the three sequences (seals, trumpets, bowls) provides a structured framework for the apparent chaos of the world, from the present to the end, pointing to God’s ultimate sovereignty. God remains at arm’s length, acting through intermediaries; the chaos is not beyond his control, but his personal word is of healing and peace.2

The previous sequences raised a question – what is God going to do about the world? – and the interlude between the sixth and seventh elements in each sequence offered an answer: he will form a prophetic people to be faithful witnesses to God and the Lamb. This sequence is different: instead of interludes in the middle, we have an introduction at the beginning, which provides a context for what follows by reminding us of earlier scenes in the book and earlier episodes in the story of God’s people.

We are reminded of the ‘sign … in heaven’:3 the woman, who represents God’s oppressed people, waiting for deliverance through Jesus. We are reminded of the ‘sea of glass’ before the throne,4 itself a reminder of the bronze laver before the first temple5 and the encounter of Moses with God on Sinai.6 The seven messages in chapters 2 and 3 each ended with a call to conquer, a victory over the beast7 that has come through the blood of the Lamb.8 The song of Moses and the Lamb (v 3) takes us back to the 144,000 on Mount Zion, and also draws on the songs of Moses;9 Jesus leads us on a new Exodus journey, from sin to the new Jerusalem. The time of wrath and chaos will come to an end: God’s action in the world might be hidden by the smoke of his glory, but we shall one day see him face to face.10


Scripture provides a context for making sense of challenges involved in following Jesus. What do you need to understand now – and what can you take on trust?

Closing prayer

Loving Father, when trouble hits, I find it so easy to choose despair. Today, Lord, I want to choose hope. I trust your promise to make all things new.

Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by kingstar

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