I can proudly say I was in band growing up. Yes, I was a “band-bird.” So, when I hear the phrase “first trumpet” I think of fond memories of bus trips, marching band, concerts and great fun. This chapter gives me a completely different frame of reference.
What a frightening description of the “locusts!” It reads like something out of a fantasy novel or Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings.” Their purpose? To hurt people – not to kill them, just make them suffer. These people would suffer to the point they sought to die, but couldn’t.
Who are the people these locusts were sent to torture?
4 They were told not to hurt the grass or plants or trees but to attack all the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
I’m so glad to be reading through Revelation with you guys. Is it just me or were we taught that people with the mark on their foreheads (mark of the beast) were those who rejected God. Why do I not remember ever being taught that those without the seal of God on their foreheads would be hunted down by these horrific creatures and made to suffer for five months?
But, this is only the beginning – the first terror. There are two more to come. The second is described in this chapter as the releasing of the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River. These angels led a massive army on horseback (but not really horses). These angels set out to destroy one third of all the people on the earth.
The most puzzling thing in this chapter is how the people still did not turn from their wicked ways:
20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to turn from their evil deeds. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood – idols that neither see nor hear nor walk! 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their immorality or their thefts.
Once again, I’m unsure of all the symbolism in this chapter, but I continue to pray for wisdom – and a good commentary! One thing I know for sure – we must keep our eyes on the Lord no matter what we believe about the end times, and we must keep our hearts soft and responsive to Him. No matter what happens, He will honor and reward our faith.
Increase our trust in You today, Lord!