Reflections on Revelation #167

Day 167

Summary: The first trumpet uses OT language of God’s judgements (hail, fire, and blood, [Exodus 9:23-26, Isa.10:16 -20, Ezek.38:22]) directed against symbols of God’s OT people (vegetation and trees [Ps.1:1-3; Isa: 61:3; Jer.11: 16,17]). The 1st trumpet represents God’s judgement on the Jerusalem that had rejected Christ (Matt 23:37,38; Luke 23:28-31). The 2nd trumpet recalls, in general, God’s judgements on those who oppose Him (Exod 7:19-21), and in particular the fall of ancient Babylon (Jer.51:24,25,41,42). This trumpet, therefore, associates with the fall of the Roman Empire. (Peter designated Rome as Babylon in 1Pet.5:13)

The symbolism of the 3rd trumpet parallels biblical imagery for the work of satan (Isa.4:12-19, Luke 10:18, Rev 12:9). But the symbolism of lamp, springs, rivers, and water suggests spiritual life and growth (Ps.1:3; Ps .84:6-7; Ps 119:05; Jer.2:13). The falling of the stars and the embittering of the waters connect the two ideas, suggesting a perversion of truth and the rise of apostasy. This would parallel the condition of the church during the Middle Ages.

In the 4th trumpet, the sources of light (sun, moon, and stars) are darkened, the symbols of truth are partially eclipsed. This darkening represents the deepening of apostasy in the church (Exod.10:21-23, Job 28:2, Isa.2:22, John.1:4 – 11, John.3:18 – 21).

With the 5th trumpet, the partial darkness of the 4th becomes total and worldwide (Rev 9:1-2). This represents the triumph of religious apostasy and secularism in the modern age. With God and truth totally eclipsed, sinful mankind is left to the demonic torment of destructive desires (Rev. 9:3-11, Luke 10:17-20. The only safety is in a genuine relationship with God (Rev 9:4; Eph 1:13,14)

While the first 5 trumpets have many allusions to ancient Egypt, the 6th trumpet particularly echoes biblical accounts regarding ancient Babylon. There are references to the river of Babylon (9:14), the idolatry of Babylon (9:20; Dan 5:4, 23), and the fall of Babylon (Rev.9:21, Isa.47:9-12.) There are also many parallels with the 6th plague (16:12-16). So the 6th trumpet describes opposition to God similar to that of end-time Babylon (17:4,5). 

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