Happy New Year! We find ourselves in Revelation 9 as we begin our journey through 2017. In 2016 we studied Revelation 1 through 8, and I hope you learned much to encourage and strengthen your faith. I am grateful for your patience as we study. I had anticipated getting through the book of Revelation in one year. Ha! Was I ever naïve? We will likely not even finish in 2017. I’m thinking more like 2018, should Jesus not come back first. If He does, He can teach Revelation much better than I!
Would you like to go back and read some of the past teachings? I have created a page on my website where I link to each post in this series chronologically from the beginning of 2016 to the end (Revelation 1-8). CLICK HERE and you will be taken to that page. Once there click on the picture associated with each post and you will be directed to the specific teaching.
As we return to our study we pick back up with the trumpet judgments. The first four trumpet judgments were found in chapter 8, but at the end of chapter 8 we were given a dire warning by an eagle flying overhead. Let’s step back to the end of chapter 8 and refresh our memories:
Revelation 8:13 (ESV): 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!”
We cannot say that we have not been warned. Things are about to go from bad to worse, and we have a bird’s eye view. Let’s read our passage from Revelation 9:
1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit.
2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft.
3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone.
6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces,
8 their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth;
9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle.
10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.
11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.
This would be a great place for you to stop for a moment and download the drawing of Revelation 9 by my friend Lisa. I think it might give you a visual of a very busy chapter.
Let me give you a brief overview of what goes on in these verses, then next week we will really dive in.
- A star falls from heaven
- Star (demon) given the key to the bottomless pit and opens it
- Smoke and locusts boil out of the pit
- Locusts torment unbelievers for 5 months but cannot kill them
- Description of locusts
- This is described at the ‘first woe’
The sounding of the fifth trumpet brings a serious escalation to the judgments that take place. In all likelihood John uses significant symbolism to describe what he sees, because no less than ten times does he say that what he is seeing is ‘like’ something else. He simply used what he knew to describe something that he probably had no idea about.
Next week we will return and peel back the layers on this fifth trumpet judgment. Until then, friends, stay faithful. Jesus could return at any moment!
I would like to offer you a link to one of the commentaries I use in my study of the book of Revelation. Warren Wiersbe’s “Be Victorious” is an easy to read commentary that adds so much to my study time. Here is my Amazon affiliate link in case you would like to pick up the book.