SBC Banner


Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

July 2, 2014

Revelations 8:6-13, 9:1-11

  1. Introduction. As we have studied this great book, it has come to my attention that there are many patterns in this book that cannot be overlooked. I am beginning to think that there are eight basic divisions of this book. Each starting with a vision of God (either as the glorified savior, king on throne, the lamb that was slain, angelic praise, or his Loud voice declaring judgment) then detailing some judgment (seals, trumpets, bowls, plagues, or lake of fire) of the wicked and ending with culmination of things including a reward of the righteous. I also noticed that the rewards for the faithful are repeated again in chapters 21 and 22. Promises made to the "overcomers” or "conquerors" in the seven churches (2:7b, 11b, 17b, 26-28, and 3:5, 12, 21) are for the most part mentioned again specifically in 21:5-22:5 as fulfilled (e.g., 21:27, 22:2, 4). I did not notice this at first. I thought I was seeing one vision after another that followed some sort of chronological order, but I think the visions all are complete in themselves just with different details. For example the first vision spans from chapter one through chapter three. In this vision we see Christ glorified. Next John receives a message for the seven churches, and in each message there is a warning of judgment and a promise reward for the faithful. If you look at chapters four through 8:1, you see the same pattern. A vision of the exalted God, judgment of the wicked, and the reward of the saints. The visions always start with a vision of the Lord, but sometimes the reward of the faithful is mentioned before the destruction of the wicked. But this pattern is found over and over again and cannot be overlooked. The eight visions are divided like so 1)1:10-3:31, 2)4:1-8:1, 3)8:2-11:18, 4)11:19-14:20, 5)15:1-16:17, 6)16:18-18:24, 7)19:1-21:4, and 8)21:5-22.

  2. Verses 6-13. Today we will deal with the first five of the seven trumpets that will be blown by the seven angels. The trumpets carry a double theme: the Israelite Exodus from Egypt and the Israelite deliverance from ancient Babylon. The first five trumpets (8:7-9:11) have as their background the plagues on ancient Egypt, but with the sixth trumpet the scene shifts this background from the land of the Nile to the Euphrates River, the river of Babylon (9:14).

    1. In this context of an "Exodus-from-Egypt"/"Fall-of-Babylon" theme, the trumpet blasts use was the sounding of an alarm (cf. Jer. 4:5 and 6:1) This would most logically symbolize God‘s prophetic messages of warning. Such warning had indeed accompanied the plagues on Egypt, as Moses and Aaron repeatedly carried to Pharaoh God's call for release of the Israelites (cf. Exod. 5:1; 6:10-11; 7:1-2, 15-20; 8:20-27). Babylon too had had its witness from God, a fact summed up in the comment that "we would have healed Babylon, but she was not healed" (Jer. 51:9).

    2. The Egyptians and the Babylonians both ignored the warnings of God’s impending judgment on them. In this manner, the wicked will not see the various signs as a reason to repent. Instead of repenting they will face judgment.

  3. Verse 7. The first angel sounded his trumpet and hail and fire mixed with blood fell to the earth burned up ground, a third of the trees, and grass. This warning is almost identical to what is recorded in Exodus 9:13-33. Hail destroys the food supplies.

  4. Verses 8-9. The second angel sounded his trumpet and a mountain of fire fell into the sea and made the sea turn to blood and a third of the living creatures in the sea perished and a third of the ships were destroyed as well. This matches the account in Exodus 7:14-21 where the waters turned to blood and killed the fish. The food in the oceans is damaged.

  5. Verses 10-11. The third angel sounded his trumpet and a star fell and made the waters bitter to drink. People died from drinking the bad water. I don’t see a perfect parallel between this and the plagues that happened to the Egyptians, but we might be able to match this with the death of all the firstborn in Egypt recorded in Exodus 11:1-9 or the plague of the waters turning to blood. Fresh water is not available.

  6. Verse 12. The fourth angel sounded his trumpet and the sun, moon, and stars were darkened by a third. This correlates to Exodus 10:21-29 where God places darkness over the Egyptians for three days. Energy sources, light, and heat are compromised. Sun and the stars are considered power sources. Power will be limited.

  7. Verse 13. Another angel came to announce another warning about the next three trumpets that would be sounded. This angel is making a distinction between the severities of the last trumpets versus the first. The last would be far worst.

  8. Chapter 9:1-11. The fifth angel sounds his trumpets and “locust-like “creatures come out of the Abyss. We will study the Abyss later, but for now our focus is on what comes out of the Abyss. The locust came out to torment men with their scorpion-like stingers. The locust looked like horses with armor, with teeth like lions, tails like scorpions, and wings. They were led by a king of the Abyss called the destroyer. Some scholars consider these demons that were chained only to be set free to torment men. This passage correlates with the release of the locust in Exodus 10:1-13. Pain and sickness is highlighted here. Interestingly enough in Revelation 18:2, the mystery city of Babylon is called a home of demons.

  9. The trumpets are symbolic of the fact that the world is dull to see the signs of judgment just like Pharaoh was dull to see the signs of judgment. See Revelations 9:20-21. These are warning judgments, not the final judgment. The comfort for the persecuted church was that this reminded them of how God delivered his people from Egypt. Pharaoh was given ten opportunities to repent before God finally delivered his people. The early church could find comfort in knowing that God would again shows signs of his eminent deliverance. The Israelites in Moses’ time did not really know God could deliver. Their testimony of deliverance helps the church see that they can have more faith than the ancient Israelites and be assured of ultimate deliverance. It must be noted that these signs could all be symbolic of something entirely different, but what we can understand is that God will give signs to warn people, but the wicked will not heed the warnings. Instead of trouble causing men to seek God, they will seek their sin even more.

click here to select another lesson