Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catastrophe! Yet you Can Be Preserved!

Rev. 8 NLT
  1   When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2   Then I saw the seven angels who stand in God’s presence, and they were given seven trumpets.  3 Another angel came with a gold incense burner and stood at the altar. He was given a lot of incense to offer on the gold altar in front of the throne. He offered it with the prayers of all of God’s people.  4 The smoke from the incense went up from the angel’s hand to God along with the prayers of God’s people.  5 The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightning, and an earthquake.
   6   The seven angels who had the seven trumpets got ready to blow them. 7   When the first angel blew his trumpet, hail and fire were mixed with blood, and were thrown on the earth. One-third of the earth was burned up, one-third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. 8   When the second angel blew his trumpet, something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the sea turned into blood,  9 one-third of the creatures that were living in the sea died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed.
   10   When the third angel blew his trumpet, a huge star flaming like a torch fell from the sky. It fell on one-third of the rivers and on the springs.  11 That star was named Wormwood. One-third of the water turned into wormwood, and many people died from this water because it had turned bitter.
  12   When the fourth angel blew his trumpet, one-third of the sun, one-third of the moon, and one-third of the stars were struck so that one-third of them turned dark. There was no light for one-third of the day and one-third of the night.
   13   I saw an eagle flying overhead, and I heard it say in a loud voice, “Catastrophe, catastrophe, catastrophe for those living on earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts which the three angels are about to blow.”

Pages and pages of scripture describing ongoing praise and worship of the most inspiring sort have gone before our eyes. Now, silence. One has to wonder just how serious it is for a heaven filled with creatures who love to spend their time singing praises to Creator God, for things to become silent. The silence must have been rather like a time of deep contemplation about what was to take place next. Seven angels next line up to play their horns. But these horns were not horns of praise. They were announcements of disaster upon creation.

God loves. He loved while he created. He loves His creatures. And now many of those creatures were about to make the ultimate choice to turn away from Him, in spite of all the warnings. The seven horns will bring the next level, and ultimately the most terrible level-- the well-deserved WRATH of God. And that wrath would be taken out not just on fallen man but on all creation, beast, plant, and human.

We see here a plague of bloody hail and fire destroying 1/3 of the earth. Calculate the size of that disaster. After the second horn, an asteroid falls destroying a third of the oceans and all the creatures living therein. Remember that our oxygen comes from microscopic life in the ocean so this destroyed a third of the capacity to produce oxygen around our planet!

After another horn, another 'star' falls and destroys 33% of the fresh water. Something interesting here is that a name of an angel is a "star" and a fallen angel is a fallen star. Wormwood is often associated with Satan so this may be the person of the Devil and this plague may be spiritual in nature. Whatever, the result kills 'many people.' After the next horn, light itself is reduced by 33%, whether moon light, starlight, or sunlight. Light brings about photosynthesis in plants and plants produce oxygen. So if plant growth is cut by a third, and another third had already been destroyed, then oxygen production in our world would be reduced to a mere tiny fraction of what it was. Breathing is going to be really hard to do.

Yet we are not done. The eagle calls what will come next as "catastrophe for those living on the earth." Catastrophe? What just happened, were they not catastrophic? No wonder the KJV translates the Eagle's warning as "terror, terror, terror!"

Yet you and I are somehow preserved through faith in Christ our Lord!
Your servant in His love

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