Revelation 8:6-13 (NIV)
6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
Ok, now we know why there was complete and utter silence in Heaven for about a half an hour when the seventh seal was opened and those watching got a glimpse of what was to come. Seven angels were given seven trumpets - trumpets used to herald in horrifying, catastrophic events that destroy parts of the earth.
At this point, I, too, feel the need to fall silent. I have no words to explain what I just read. I believe it. I know it will happen, but I am overwhelmed at the thought of it. It seems cruel and I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the loving God that I know doing these things. Why? Why?
Ok, I confess - I had to keep reading and long about the end of chapter 9, I found the reason. Believe it or not, these destructive acts are perpetrated for a loving reason. We'll get there, but before we do, we'll take a look at the fifth and sixth trumpet effects.
On a side note - did you notice the in verse 11 that the star was named Wormwood? It reminded me of a book I once read - The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. One of the characters was named Wormwood. The short story is a series of letters between Wormwood (a novice demon) and his Uncle Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service. Wormwood's mission is to assure that his assigned "patient" (an ordinary man) never received salvation through Christ. When he fails at this task, he is given instructions for tempting and distracting the new Believer.
The Screwtape Letters is a timeless classic on spiritual conflict and the psychology of temptation which are part of our daily Christian experience.
I know this kind of book is not for everyone, but I found that it really opened my eyes to the schemes used by Satan to pull us away from a vibrant walk with Christ. The writer of 2 Corinthians mentions being alert and aware of Satan's schemes.
...in order that Satan might not outwit us.
For we are not unaware of his schemes.
2 Corinthians 2:11
While I don't focus on Satan, because he has been defeated by Christ, I am aware that his goal is to destroy God's people or at the very least, draw their hearts away from God and lure them into temptation. Knowing this keeps me on my guard against any thing he might try to disrupt my close relationship with my Savior.
If you would like to read it, you can pick up a copy at almost any Christian bookstore, order it online, or read a free copy in your browser or download an epub copy here - http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=DLJWXYQK . You can also download a free discussion guide for the book here - https://www.cslewis.com/images/ckfinder/642/pdfs/TheScrewtapeLetters.pdf
Next post, we'll look at the 5th & 6th angels and what happens when they blow their trumpets.
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