The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” – Revelation 16:12-15
The sixth of the seven angels arrives with a bowl that is poured out on the great river Euphrates. The Euphrates river is one of the four rivers flowing out of the garden of Eden. The pouting out of this bowl results in something odd – the water in the river dries up. This is apparently to prepare the way for the “kings from the east”. I am not sure what that means. The only reference that I can think of about “kings from the east” is the ones that came to visit the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1). I suppose in some time-bending way there could be a connection. I do not know.
Then comes some odd impure spirits that look like frogs. These frogs emerge from the mouth of the dragon which is also the beast and the false prophet. Well I confess this is some really confusing metaphysical mystery here. Why frogs? Why out of the mouth of the beast? Perhaps this is a stretch but frogs are amphibians that can live in both land and water what if these creatures are spiritual “amphibians” are able to span the spiritual and secular worlds. These creatures are apparently equally comfortable in the spiritual and secular worlds.
These “frogs” are apparently demonic spirits that are able to perform signs and convince kings that they are someone to be followed into battle on their side in the great war of the worlds to come on the “great day of the Lord Almighty”. Someone comes like a thief. It is not clear who this someone is unless it is referring to these impure spirits trying to convince kings to join the conflict with God in their side. Those that resist this temptation to treasonous turning away from God are those that “stay awake and remain clothed”. I assume this means those who want to avoid being on the “wrong side” of the coming conflict must remain awake – keep from falling spiritually asleep.
I am not sure what to make of the last bit about remaining clothed. Clothing is a tradition we have adopted to cover our bodies. Different cultures have different practices when it comes to clothing. Those in the tropics tend to wear considerably less clothing than those in the northern climates. I am not sure if there is any deeper meaning here. Certainly when we are finished with life in this land of oblivion we will be stripped down to the soul and spiritually naked in the eyes of God. So I am not sure what it means to remain clothed so as not to go naked and shamefully exposed. This seems like a murky metaphor to be sure. Perhaps this passage will become more clear further down the river. At the moment it is shrouded in clouds. The only things that seems clear is that we need to stay awake.
Prayer: God help us to be clothed with your glory and confident in our place at Your side in the conflict to come.