There is a lot in these 10 verses in today’s reading. As you read remember three things: 1) the world will be judged by God due to humankind’s idolatry and sin; 2) as fearful as the two woes are described in today’s readings with the sixth trumpet sounding, Christians should have no fear, and 3) John’s sharing of these judgments can awaken all people to their sin and need to repent and return to the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ. 

So here are the facts: without Jesus, without the forgiveness and cleansing from sin that Jesus gives, there is no peace in this world of sin. However, if you and I come to know Jesus in faith, trusting in his redeeming work, we will know peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV). 

Some of you have heard about Armageddon, which is a term that speaks to the day when God will come and wipe out the forces that separate and seek to destroy good. Armageddon is the Hebrew word for the Mount of Megiddo, which is a place in northern Israel, less than 20 miles southeast of the modern port city of Haifa. This battlefield, Megiddo, is named specifically in Revelation 16:16. Revelation 9 gives us our first glimpse of the terrible forces of death and destruction that will take place on the plain of Megiddo. According to John’s dream, this will be where all the great armies of the earth will assemble from every point of the compass to fight the last war of all human history. 

Fearful as these trumpet plagues may be, they are under the complete control of our covenant-keeping God. These plagues will not harm those who believe in Christ. Many believers can recall a time when we were afflicted by sin before coming to Christ and repenting of old ways. But what hope we now have in Jesus Christ! We know what life was with the bad habits and sinful influences and we trade them in for a free and new way found in Christ. 

Questions for reflection:

  1. So, is there anything you need to ask Jesus to forgive or reject that has taken your heart, mind, or attention from that is not of God?
  2. What modern-day realities does the imagery of these plagues bring to mind for you?
  3. What might have you in common with the people mentioned in Revelation 9:20-21?

Lord, help me today. I admit that at times I rely upon my own gifts, strength, and earthly desires to direct my steps and don’t always consider what you would want me to do. I have put hope in what I can accomplish, control, and do on my own. Lord, I recognize I need to ask for forgiveness and turn to you as the provider of all things in my life. Help me to surrender the control and selfish pursuits and move in ways that give thanks and praise to you. Amen.

Old Testament reading: Hosea 13-14