I. The first vial

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” Just as the ten plagues of Egypt were meant to show the authority of God over all that men worship above God so it is with these vials. Each vial is poured upon or into particular places: the earth, the sea, and so on. The first angel poured his vial upon the earth. As we have previously noted, when the earth is mentioned in this book of Revelation it is connected with the people that dwell therein. The earth is synonymous with the mankind that has rebelled against God and, as stated in these texts, which have the mark of the beast and worshipped the image of the beast. The worship of the earth is the worship of man. There is no disconnect between WICCA, extreme environmentalism, and earth or creature worship and secular humanism. All of them end with the deification of man as a whole, particular men in specific, and man as self. People who worship the creature instead of the Creator worship man. It is therefore no surprise in our text to see the wrath that is poured upon the earth to immediately affect mankind. The vial was poured on the earth and sores fell upon men. The earth was created to be inhabited (Isaiah 48:18) and man was to be crowned over it (Psalm 8). Man, began to worship with earth above God and themselves as men of the earth (as opposed to being creations of God). So the earth is the first false god to feel the wrath of God unmixed and men share in the judgment of their god.

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        The obvious parallel of this wrath is found in the ten plagues where boils came upon the men of Egypt included the magicians that resisted Moses and the result was that they were unable to stand before Moses (Ex. 9:8-12). Here the term used is the term sore. A sore is a place where the skin is ruptured and it becomes sensitive to pain and pressure. It could be an open cut or it could be a perturbing boil or ulcer. I believe that this is taken literally. Nothing crushes the esteem of a man than sores on his body. Man has lifted himself against his Creator and now he is covered with sores. The sins of men will find their affect in the bodies of men. We see this in a microcosm with STD’s today. “And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me” (Prov. 5:11-13). Our text says that these sores are noisome and grievous. The term noisome is a middle English term which means harmful and noxious and also carries the idea of having foul odor and being offensive or disgusting. A noisome sore would be something that was very harmful to man. It would be something that carried a foul odor and was putrid and rotting. The term is used only four times in the KJV. It was connected with pestilence which describes an epidemic spreading disease (Psalm 91:3). It is also connected with ravenous beasts which attacked and killed men (Ezekiel 14:15, 21). The term grievous carries the obvious idea of causing a great amount of grief; it is something that can hardly be borne by those afflicted by it. God begins His judgment by bringing the proud looks of man low. It was the boils of Job that sat him down in the ashes where the dogs licked his sores. God resists the proud.