Read Revelation 8
Focus on verse 13
“Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…” Perhaps you have had a day like this – where everything that could possibly go wrong, does. Then as you are taking inventory of your rotten awful no good day, and you reach that point of declaring that it couldn’t possibly get worse, you go to the cupboard to find some consolation and realize that you are out of coffee…just when you thought it couldn’t get worse! (NOTE: some people would correctly identify this as a “1st world problem”)
In today’s reading the description of what John is seeing in his vision is significantly more serious than being out of coffee. In this chapter he describes what happens as the first four of seven trumpets are sounded – each of which bring catastrophic devastation and destruction upon the earth. Then in verse thirteen there seems to be a little break in the devastation but it turns out to an announcement proclaiming that these first four catastrophes were merely the warm up to the main events.
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”(v. 13)
For the people who are surviving this holocaust this is not good news. As the remaining events begin to unfold it would seem that perhaps the ones who were killed by the comet or the poisoned water might actually be the more fortunate ones.
What John is seeing in this vision is apparently what is to come at some point in the future. It is the consequence of human rejection of God. God is very patient with us, and often despite our rejection and rebellion He continues to provide us with enough life and opportunity to choose to repent and accept the redemption He continues to offer to us. Eventually – as is depicted in John’s vision – God will allow those who have hardened their hearts against Him to reap the harvest of their rebellion, and He will give them what they are demanding by removing Himself entirely from their presence. When the light and life of God is removed, darkness and death will fill the void bringing with it immeasurable suffering, pain and destruction for all who have chosen that path. It won’t be pretty. The consequences of sin never are.
The good news is – it doesn’t have to get worse…redemption that restores life and light to us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a beautiful thing every time, and at this point – there is still time to choose that path!