6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
Here we have a revelation of why God’s wrath is being poured out on those who dwell on the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ takes very seriously those who afflict His children (believers).
We see this in Matthew 18:6 which says, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
The altar was made of pure gold and it was in front of God’s throne-Revelation 8:3. The golden altar was where the prayers of the saints would come to and where they would be after being put to death for refusing to take the mark of the beast.
Those on the altar who responded could be:
- Angels-Revelation 5:11
- The saints-Revelation 6:9
- Both Angels & Saints (24 elders)-Revelation 4:9-10
The Lord through these plagues avenged the wrong that was done to His servants.
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.
The fourth bowl will cause the sun to be extremely hot, so hot that if you would stay out for a short period of time, you would receive up to a third-degree sunburn or if out longer, death.
By the sun being very hot, it will prevent the people from planting and harvesting, adding to the famine.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
The people’s heart grew immensely hard due to God’s plagues, showing their true rejection. God’s wrath wasn’t only for punishment but for softening one’s heart for repentance so that salvation may take place.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony
The fifth bowl was now directed at the Antichrist and those who served him.
The phrase, “its kingdom was plunged into darkness” refers to their suffering and not necessarily in a literal sense being dark without light. In verse 11, it sheds some light, no pun intended.