Explore the Bible
August 16, 2014
There are things you see and hear that immediately strike fear in the core of your being. I have witnessed firsthand horrific vehicle accidents, plane crashes and railroad accidents. As a health care worker, I have become a little desensitized to the initial shock. I still have a certain level of fear. What causes me the greatest fear are those words “unknown contagion.” Things like SARS and Ebola can create a great sense of fear.
Revelation 9:1–12 describes a very haunting scene. An angel comes down from heaven and opens the pit. Smoke rises from the pit and darkens the sky. A swarm of demonic locusts arises from the bottomless pit and inflicts judgment on the unrepentant. One of the first things I notice in the Book of Revelation is that man’s rebellion against God gets progressively worse and so do these judgments.
Notice the appearance of these locusts. John uses the word “like” to help his readers understand that he is making a comparison to things he knows. These creatures are so grotesque. They look like mighty warhorses decorated for battle with iron breastplates and teeth like a lion. They have long, flowing hair with gold crowns on their heads. The flapping of their wings causes a deafening noise.
They are sent with the power of scorpions to sting and inflict pain but not to kill. They cannot harm those whom God has sealed, nor harm nature. They will be active for only five months. They will cause such intense pain that people will want to die and cannot. It is usually our nature to want to live. The locusts attack and inflict pain on people whose hearts are so dark with sin that they would prefer death over repentance.
This was just the first of three woes. Things are going to get worse. God offers mercy and forgiveness of sin. He desires to see people avoid His coming wrath.
This warning is an invitation to repent and trust in Christ now while there is time.