Worse and Worse
Lord, You are the God of sunrise and sunset. Let this be a sunrise. Drive away any darkness in my life.
Read REVELATION 9:1-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Thrice blest is he to whom is given / The instinct that can tell / That God is on the field when he / Is most invisible” (F.W. Faber, 1814-63).
A locust plague was not only one of the plagues in Egypt but is a recurring image of judgment used by the prophets of God. The central picture of the book of Joel is a locust invasion, and it is often used as an illustration of the devastation caused by an invading army. John’s picture is more fearsome and comes from the realm of nightmares. The description is meant to stimulate our imagination. Why are we so prosaic when it comes to matters of faith? It is a wake-up call to the lethargic and complacent. The locusts, birthed in hell with stings like scorpions, inflict such pain on people that death would be a merciful release.
John, once again, will describe the sixth trumpet and then stop, tantalizingly, before the seventh. So serious is this warning that permission has to be specifically given for the trumpet to sound. Here comes an invading army, determined to destroy and wreak havoc against all they encounter. The scorched-earth policy was not a twentieth-century invention. The sixth trumpet seems to symbolize violent death, whether by war, terrorism or persecution. Still, people will not repent, preferring to put their trust in what cannot help them in their hour of need. When people worship idols, their behavior, not surprisingly, matches their faith, and the value placed on human life deteriorates.
We may not have experienced actual invasion, but we may well have experienced the sudden overwhelming intrusion of bereavement, divorce or unemployment. Do these things move us closer to God or further from him? Sadly, all too often it is the latter. Will we never learn? The trumpets sound to warn, but also to summon the people to repentance. Will their sound be heard before it is too late?
What “trumpets” may God be using to warn or alert you? Ask God to keep your heart open to hear them.
Lord, thank You for the gift of a new day. Sin is always pressing in on me, wanting to break out in my life. Keep me alert to Your warnings.
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