6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell 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 became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead,
“Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”
Now we move from seals being opened to trumpets being blown, the seals have opened the scroll and now the contents of the scroll are being played out, so to speak.
Often times nowadays we hear things like
‘Oh, it was just nature taking it’s course.’.
Of course, sometimes this is absolutely true; coastal erosion whereby cliffs are constantly battered with spray from the sea laced with salt, trees dropping their leaves each autumn…these things are nature taking it’s course. However, sometimes people throw ‘nature’ and ‘That’s just how the world works’ around as an explanation for things which have far Superior cause.
Here we see the first four trumpets being blown and God brings about judgement, through nature, but nature is not bringing these events about of it’s own accord.
Targeted here are vegatation (v.7), the sea (v.8), freshwater (v.10), and light (v.12).
Despite the judgment of a fallen race being played out here, crucially God spares more than He smites (great word that, isn’t it, smite). Only a third is destroyed and we have to believe that if people saw this and turned to God, He would welcome them with open arms. The progressive, loving discipline of a Father seen in Amos 4.6-13 does include punishment, but at all times aimed at turning hearts back to the Lord.
One third of all these things being destroyed is a stark reminder of who is really in charge, isn’t it. Nature is not so reliable and steadfast, but there is One who is. After the first six trumpets are blown there is an interlude, so to speak, in the judgement all the way until we pick it up again in chapter 11. Again, then, this is time for people to repent, stop, turn hearts and lives back to God through Jesus.
He is the One who is reliable, who is steadfast, and who literally gave His life to ensure that we don’t have to endure the things we are reading about here, that we won’t experience what we are reading about here, and that if anyone calls on His name, then they won’t experience what we are reading about here either.
With whom can you share this message of available Salvation today?
Scaring people into being a Christian is never the best path to take, but some people really do need to see how the end of the book reads to give them that last little encouraging push. At this point, God is saving more than He is smiting, but that will not always be the case. Encourage those in your lives who do not have a relationship with the risen Saviour to start one, and start it today.