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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

April 28 2022

Today, Thursday April 28

Desolation in the Fresh Waters Revelation 8:10-11 “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”

As the seven seals are opened by the Lamb of God (Rev. 6), they give us a preview of the first three and a half years of the Tribulation. The seventh seal is followed by silence for thirty minutes and then the seven angels with seven trumpets begin to sound. I believe the seven trumpets begin to sound at the beginning of the second half of the tribulation.

When the first trumpet sounds in verse 7, desolations on the earth begins as a third of the trees and all the green grass is burned up. When the second trumpet sounds (v. 8), desolations on the sea takes place. “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”

Today we are looking at what happens next when the third angel sounds the third trumpet. As the third angel sounded his trumpet another flaming object hurtled toward the earth. John described this latest of the "terrors and great signs from heaven" (Luke 21:11), as a great star that fell from heaven. This object (possibly a comet or a meteor because of its fiery tail) disintegrated as it reached Earth's atmosphere. The celestial object's fiery debris fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters, polluting the fresh water around the globe. This also is reminiscent of the polluting of Egyptians' drinking water (Ex. 7:21, 24).

Because of its deadly effects, the star will be called Wormwood, a word used only here in the New Testament. Wormwood is mentioned eight times in the Old Testament, where it is associated with bitterness, poison, and death (Deut. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19; Amos 5:7; 6:12). In three of those uses, wormwood is connected with poisoned water. In Jeremiah 9:15, for example, God says of rebellious Israel, "Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink" (Jer. 23:15; Lam. 3:15).

Whatever the poison represented by the name Wormwood is, it is lethal, since a third of the fresh waters became poisonous like wormwood. This is the reverse of the miracle at Marah, where the Lord made bitter waters sweet (Ex. 15:25). It is also reminiscent of the first plague on Egypt, when "all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood" (Ex. 7:20) and became unfit to drink. The repeated pattern of one-third destruction (one-third of the earth and the trees burned up, v. 7; one-third of the sea turned to blood, v. 8; one-third of the sea creatures killed and one-third of the ships destroyed, v. 9) demonstrates clearly that these are not random natural events, but divine judgments.

No human deaths were mentioned with the first two trumpet judgments, although they undoubtedly will take a severe toll of human lives. But with the third trumpet judgment, John records that many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter. The rivers will run with deadly poison; the wells will become springs of death; the lakes and reservoirs will be filled with toxic waters. People will be able to survive, for a time, the destruction of food supplies caused by the first two trumpet judgments, living off stored provisions. But people cannot long survive without fresh water, and the loss of a significant portion of the world's fresh water supply will cause widespread death.

The devastation caused by the first three trumpet judgments will leave the earth's inhabitants in a state of shock and fear. Still, God has not finished pouring out His wrath on sinful mankind. The death of many is only an indirect result of these first three blasts. The direct killing of sinners comes with the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:15).

We first need to make sure we are ready to meet the Lord at any time, and then may the Lord grant us grace and courage to warn those around us of these coming judgments!

God bless!

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