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.
- We note that the first four trumpets are set apart from the others.
- With the blowing of the first 4 trumpets, we see precisely what is going on in Amos 9:1-4
- A quick synopsis = If you do not want to trust in the Lord, if you want to mock the preaching of the gospel and hate the pastors who have been charged to give you the word of God – all right, God will give you what you want as your punishment. If you take security in the world, guess what? It is all going to collapse – it will not last.
- The first four judgments from the first four trumpets are partial because numerous times it says 1/3rd – partial because God is calling people to repentance – before the end comes.
- Mixed with Blood – we see similar language in Ezekiel 38:21-23 – with the emphasis in v.23 – “Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
- Pharaoh had the same issue when he demanded to know who is God? Same question today as an unbelieving world asks “who is this God?” or “who is this Jesus that I should go worship him?”
- Again, this is to cause repentance – this is why the first four only strike the earth and not man.
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.
- Again the similar language of being thrown, the one third language and the blood and fire language.
- First it was on the land and now it is on the sea. This is all OT judgment language. Hey! Is that a volcano?
- The people’s world commerce is being shaken – greatly impacted.
- Who is this mountain Jeremiah 51:25 speaks of – is it ancient Babylon? Note that John continues to use God’s OT judgment talk.
- What is spoken of in Revelation is the same message down through time.
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.
- The fall of this star echoes the lament of the king of Babylon – Isaiah 14:12
- Babylon and all who share in her idolatry have poisoned their own drinking water and brought about their own destruction.
- We will hear much more about Babylon as we go through this book.
- It is the same today as in the days of old. If you want to follow false gods, if you want to pervert justice, there will be consequences. So John is describing these consequences.
- You will be given poisonous waters to drink. Your life is going to be bitter – this is a foretaste of the bitterness to come.
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.
- Wormwood is a bitter herb and is also associated with curses. Mentioned 7 times in the OT.
- In this case, this is just the opposite of what happened in Exodus 15:22-27 where the bitter waters at Marah became drinkable.
- Why was the water bitter? Because of the grumbling of God’s people.
- But we see a promise in Ex 15:26 – “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”
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.
- Thinking back to the plagues – the 9th plague = total darkness. Not the final judgment but 1/3rd
- Isaiah 13:9-10 – this is what Isaiah and his hearers would have thought as the last day.
- The Day of the Lord is Good Friday. So often people confuse the Day of the Lord as the Last Day. This is one of those both / and scenarios as scripture does say the Lord will destroy the heavens and the earth with fire.
- We need to associate Jesus on the cross as the time that all judgment against all sin and all sinners is endured by the Lord Jesus Christ – Judgment Day!
- Now we know that we can stand and survive this time of judgment … judgment day in miniature – again.
- Jesus who has been given judgment according to John’s gospel AND who has been given all authority in heaven and on the earth stands in our midst.
- He speaks to us in his word, he gives us his true body and blood, and he tells us we are baptized.
- What does all of this mean? We are acquitted, we are forgiven and we stand in God’s presence. We are not to be damned. All of these trumpets etc are to direct us to Jesus.
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!”
- This is a transition verse after the first 4 trumpets.
- The eagle is interesting as they seem to be an instrument of God’s work. Ex. 19:4 –“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
- Here we see the 3 woes – the next 3 trumpets (5-7) will be woe upon woe upon woe on those who do not have the seal of God on their forehead (Rev9)
- The woes will come upon those stubborn and rebellious – the inhabitants of the earth (Rev 6:10) – as John loosely refers to them later as worshipers of the dragon and his henchmen.
- These woes are similar to those Jesus pronounced on the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.
Closing note: Do you see it? This is the thing in the Book of Revelation – will the people, the inhabitants of the earth, those not already sealed earlier listen. This is very reminiscent of John’s gospel – those who have ears to hear that they might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.
This is a call to repentance for the sake of faith. This is the message of all scripture – faith in Christ – believe in him.
It is a bit odd that Revelation gets treated as a book set apart from the rest of scripture – an odd book that now says something new and different.