As we read about the third and fourth trumpet judgments, the question is how can we relate them to the era in which we live?
— Could God use climate change as his way of judging the earth?
— Is God using human actions to precipitate these events?
— Are there other places in the Bible where similar things have happened?
I recognize the reality of climate change and believe that many of the problems affecting the world are caused by human actions. However, the witness of the Bible is that these judgments come from God rather than humans.
The story of the Exodus, as described in Exodus 7:20-21, demonstrates how God’s judgment operates like that shown in Revelation.
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 name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water because it was made bitter (Revelation 8.10-11).
Rudy Ross has a good presentation about how God has used wood and water in the Old Testament. At times, God has used wood to purify water and at other times he turned the water bitter. To listen to Rudy, please see today’s YouTube video.
Wormwood speaks of bitterness and misery, as Jeremiah wrote.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am feeding this people with wormwood and giving them poisonous water to drink (Jeremiah 9:15).
Like a broken record that plays the same song over and over, the visions tell us that God is moving in judgment and people must repent or bear his coming wrath.
The Exodus Connection
The ninth plague in the Exodus resembles the fourth trumpet of Revelation.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt” (Exodus 10:21-23).
Darkness is a symbol of judgment and will precede the Day of the Lord.
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light. (Amos 5:18)
The vision of the fourth trumpet judgment is consistent with the Day of the Lord message.
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 was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining and likewise the night (Revelation 8.12).
Humans love spiritual darkness and this judgment gives them a taste of physical darkness.
John wrote, “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
“For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed” (John 3.19-20).
The darkness is a warning of even greater darkness – “the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)
Once again, we are reminded that God is “not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3.9).
The trumpet plagues are intended to reveal the bitterness and darkness of humanity’s character. They are intended to bring humans to repentance.
In the next section, there is a transition from the four plagues on nature to the demonic woes to which the people will be subject.
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in midheaven, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!” (Revelation 8.13).
The eagle flies to be seen by all, announcing the next series of judgments.
The message of the plagues is clear: they are intended to reveal the bitterness and darkness of humanity’s character and bring about repentance.
As we read about the trumpet plagues let them be a call to repentance and a reminder that God desires all to come to repentance and be saved.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.