When God gave Israel the Land of Promise, He required them to be avengers to execute wrath on wicked peoples. He commanded that they enforce His law within their new domain. When Christ returns as “King of kings,” He will do exactly the same thing.
The peoples of the world at His return will be doing the same things that the Canaanites were doing when God gave it to Israel (Revelation 9:20). The peoples of the land did not repent, just as the survivors of God's plagues will not repent. Had there been repentance, there would have been no need to execute wrath on evildoers. God is a God of great mercy and compassion, but with the hardhearted and rebellious, He is a God of justice.
David C. Grabbe
Why Did God Command Israel to Go to War?
Not only is Christ's coming shock and awe, it is destruction as we have never imagined it. The angel calls the birds to devour the flesh of all people, small and great. Jesus Christ comes back to wage a righteous war, one that has been brewing for 6,000 years due to mankind's hostility and rebellion to God. By the time this prophecy is fulfilled, God has had enough of sin. Christ comes back and treads the winepress of His wrath, where the blood spilled comes up to the horse's bridles. It is hard to imagine blood three or four feet deep and flowing like a river.
Talk about shock! Some people faint dead away when they see just a drop of blood, but imagine a river of blood flowing through the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Revelation 14:20; Joel 3:9-13)! Not a pretty picture.
As is happening in Iraq today, the enemy regime and all of its supporters must be removed before a new and better government can be installed. In like manner, God has to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Shock and Awe - and Speed
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Revelation 19:12:
1 Thessalonians 4:17