WHERE IS YOUR STING, NOW?
Lord, protect me from the power of the evil one.
Read REVELATION 9
9 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Lord, meet with me today as I seek Your face and Your will.
Like in a sobering movie script, by the time these judgments are completed, half the world will be dead. We read of an army of demons, depicted as locusts, an apt image for those who bring mass destruction. These locusts kill and are given free rein for five months, bringing death throughout the earth. However uncomfortable we may find this passage, as a church we must heed its message. Satan is the ultimate destroyer, who steals, kills and destroys. Nonetheless, as the terror unfolds we must face the fact that God is the one ordering this. All enmity against God requires strict limitations, for God is Sovereign and sin cannot survive: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
As God’s disciples we must reject compromise, because the world order will end. We must stand strong and run the race set before us. Furthermore, we should beware of complacency: when did we last weep for the lost? Are we really expecting this destruction? As for those who face suffering for his sake, they will be vindicated. It may appear that the ungodly always win, but those in Christ will overcome, and God will be our judge. Sadly, many are not going to see the kingdom of God, but what are we doing to save just one more person from this terrible fate? Not everyone wants God. Most simply love sin. Even as sin destroys lives, they still won’t repent (21). They march with the enemy and have turned away from God (20). The fact that they won’t repent indicates that forgiveness was offered. Even when God looks upon the worst forms of sin, he is still willing to open his arms and welcome back anyone who repents, showing that he truly is unconditional love.
“Lord, open our eyes, use us to warn people. With you we are safe, even in the midst of a storm. There is an eternity to lose or gain” (Corrie ten Boom, 1892–1983).
Lord, I am not a spiritually stubborn person. When You issue a command, I know better than to scoff at it. I march with You.
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