Seven Bowls 9.4: Bowl 1-Sores

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."
The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

Of course this judgment brings to mind the sixth plague that Moses unleashed on Egypt in Exodus chapter 9:32, to persuade Pharaoh to free the Hebrew slaves.

Note that this plague was poured out on those people who have taken the mark of the beast – who have expended the labours of their hands and minds in the service of the evil spirit that, sooner or later, tends to infect what should be the great achievements of commerce and industry.  

If you are going to do any work, you will have to use your hands and your brain. So maybe the ‘666’ symbolises the way that people, while working to get the necessities of life for themselves, generally have to conform to the philosophy and practices of the beast
You may recall that the breaking of the seventh seal was delayed until all God's servants could have a seal placed upon their foreheads – that would differentiate them from those in the thrall of the beast.

So you get to choose. 

You can either adopt the mark of the Beast (666) and gain entry into trade and commerce, or risk foregoing these tangible benefits and become a servant of God. (Talking about seals and marks of association, you may recall that the final plague of Egypt, the death of the first born was avoided by those who marked the door of their house with the blood of the Passover lamb)

But it is not just those people who are sealed with the 666 on their forehead and their hands that suffer these torments.
I have said the book of Revelation can be read as a description of the interaction between redemption and atonement, in the here and now as well as at the end of the world.

The bible contains another story of a man afflicted by sores. That man was a servant of God. His name (which he gives to the book in the bible) was Job. 

The story of Job demonstrates that the righteous can experience the same trials and tribulations that beset the evil. 

In fact it is these trials and tribulations that will form the character of a human, for better or worse. 

It all gets down to how a person reacts to the bad things that happen. 

That reaction will form the person he becomes. 

The fires of atonement can either refine the gold and silver of righteousness of a person’s spirit, or destroy that spirit if it is all dross and no precious metal.

Getting back to what happened in the book of Job, Satan suggested to God that Job only served him because he had been allowed to prosper. 

God allows Satan to deprive Job of all his material wealth, then his personal health. He breaks out in sores, then to add to his burdens,  he must abide the comfort (and gratuitous advice) his friends seek to provide, as he scrapes the pustules from his body with a piece of potsherd. 
After much tribulation, a young man called Elihu, gives Job the answer to his question,
"Why is all this happening to me?"
(Job 33:14-18). 

Elihu tells Job that God is afflicting him with suffering, so that he can reveal his divinity to him more fully. 
There are two ways God talks to men. 

The first is in dreams (presumably it is the prophets who understand the significance of these visitations). 

The second is in the kind of suffering to which Job has been subjected.

Of course this suffering may end up making a person bitter and angry, rather than providing a fuller revelation of God. Take for example the people of Israel who declined the opportunity of entering the Promised Land for fear of having to fight the existing inhabitants.(Numbers 15:14, Psalm 95:8; 106:24)
95:8 Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways."
So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest."
 It was the children of the people who left Egypt with Moses that entered the Promised Land. If you read the first five books of Moses’ Law, you will see that the word REDEMPTION is used to describe the events around the departure of the people of Israel from Egypt with Moses. So if people who go to church tell you they have been redeemed, tell them, “so were the people who never made it to the Promised Land”.

When one sees the judgment of the people of Israel who were redeemed at the time of the first feast of Passover, it is tempting to ask why the trials and tribulations should be administered in the first place. A good answer to that question is found in Micah
Micah 6:3 "My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you?
Answer me.
I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember [your journey] from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD

Job was given the chance to have a revelation of God (to know God) and became a better person as a result.
The Children of Israel who were rescued from slavery in Egypt and offered a land of their own, became worse persons as a result.
It is really all up to the person. The suffering reveals the true character of the person, just as the refining process reveals the true character of the contents of the ore.

"Why is all this happening to me?"
ATONEMENT: The things they don’t like to talk about in church

Bowl #1: Sores