From the beginning of 2016 until now, we have journeyed through the first 8 chapters of the book of The Revelation. I have been reminded of several things as we have studied:
- Jesus knows His church and is working in her midst
- God is on the throne, working ALL things out according to His plan and purposes
- God has graciously given us a telescoped look into what is yet to come so we can be prepared, and help prepare others
- While much of Revelation remains a mystery, there are things we can know and understand, if we will only study.
- God promises blessing to those who read and heed the words of Revelation
Y’all, I know that I have stretched chapter 8 of Revelation out for a good 2 months or more, and you have been so patient with me. Today we will finish chapter 8 with our look at what happens when the angel sounds the fourth trumpet. Before we get into our study, however, I want to provide you with links to our study of Trumpets 1-3, because it is important that you understand the context of chapter 8.
Okay, here we go!
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.
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!”
As we move into verse 12, the judgments, that, until now, have affected only earth, begin to affect the heavens. There are really two scenarios in these two verses. The first is the result of the sounding of the fourth trumpet. Things get a bit dark when this happens:
1/3 of the sun is darkened
1/3 of the moon is darkened
1/3 of the stars are darkened
While it seems that this judgment occurs in the heavens, the effects on earth would be monumental. One-third less light would disrupt the ecology of the earth in significant ways. The temperature of the earth would decrease, there would be less water and more ice, plants would not undergo the photosynthesis needed to thrive and produce our food, the weather would change significantly, and so much more.
In addition to the effects on ecology, there would be significant effects on humans. Seasonal depression, an increase in occurrence and severity of depression during the winter when days are darker and drearier, is a very real thing. If the earth were 1/3 darker day and night, it is highly likely that the incidence of depression would rise sharply, leading to increased suicide and violence. Add the effects of this judgment to the previous seals and trumpets and one begins to get a picture of worldwide destruction.
It would be nice if this were the end of the judgments, but verse 13 tells us that things that are much worse are yet to come. Suddenly John sees an eagle flying overhead. It is crying out with a loud voice and saying,
“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!”
The three ‘woes’ signify escalating horrors, and I believe, the beginning of the end. We will study these woes in the coming days. Until then, I would love for you to leave a comment about how our 2016 study in the book of The Revelation has impacted you. Would you take a moment to do that? I would be so grateful.
Merry Christmas, friends! I’ll see you in the New Year.