(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
Terrors! – Revelation 9
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t find the book of Revelation fascinating. Maybe it’s because most of the accounts in the book defy explanation – and it seems to become more inscrutable with repeated reading.
As I read chapter 9 this week, I became a little amused by John’s descriptions; I began to envision these terrors as 50s Hollywood horror films. The headings in the NLT help that notion along. Picture a vintage movie poster with the heading “The Fifth Trumpet Brings…The First Terror!”
3 Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. 4 They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting. 6 In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They had what looked like gold crowns on their heads, and their faces looked like human faces. 8 They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like the teeth of a lion. 9 They wore armor made of iron, and their wings roared like an army of chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails that stung like scorpions, and for five months they had the power to torment people.
As the chapter goes on, John has written the sequel. Envision another poster: “They Thought They Were Safe…But Then Came…The Second Terror.”
16 I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.
17 And in my vision, I saw the horses and the riders sitting on them. The riders wore armor that was fiery red and dark blue and yellow. The horses had heads like lions, and fire and smoke and burning sulfur billowed from their mouths. 18 One-third of all the people on earth were killed by these three plagues—by the fire and smoke and burning sulfur that came from the mouths of the horses. 19 Their power was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails had heads like snakes, with the power to injure people.
Ok, so it sounds weird and a little flippant to laugh at these extreme terrors in the last days. How can I chuckle at them? The key is in the final verses of the chapter:
20 But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
These people who suffer at the hands of the terrors are the ones who have not given their life over to God. So this leaves you with one of two practical applications.
If you’re certain of your salvation, rejoice! Revel in the fact that you won’t have anything to worry about.
If you’re not sure, repent. It’s never too late to let Him have control of your life. Then you can rejoice!