Amos 7-9 Revelation 8
“While I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying high in the air cry out in a loud voice, ‘Trouble! Trouble! Trouble for those who live on the earth because of the remaining sounds of the trumpets that the other three angels are about to blow!’” (Revelation 8:13 NCV)
After a short silence in heaven, the disasters began to unfold. As each angel blew their trumpet, horrendous events shattered the earth. One third of all vegetation was burned up; a third of the sea became blood and a third of the living creatures in the sea died as well as a third of ocean-going vessels were destroyed; a third of all the water became bitter; a third of the stars became black – and the earth lost a third of its light. The devastation was unimaginable. Then, the vision got worse with the announcement that said, in effect, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
When I read the book of the Revelation, I have to admit that I shudder at these parts. I don’t like the idea of this kind of judgment. Yet, God is dealing with people who not only have continued to turn their backs on Him but have also persecuted His people mercilessly. His judgments are just, of that I have no doubt, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. God has extended His offer of mercy to them countless times, and yet, they’ve ignored His outstretched hand. My wish, my desire would be that these who were suffering the results of God’s judgments would recognize that He alone offers hope and salvation – both in a physical sense and a spiritual sense. Sadly though, the response of those who have set their hearts against God is that they not only refused to repent, they shook their fists in God’s face and cursed Him. Sometimes God gives visions of what might be and calls on us to react. Amos 7 in today’s reading shows a couple of examples of those types of visions. When I read this part of the book of the Revelation, I can only hope that there’s hope that this vision is a call for God’s people to share His mercy and grace so that those who now reject Him will turn to Him and they won’t deal with this level of suffering. While I’m probably wrong in this hope, I can promise you that it’s never wrong to share God’s mercy and grace with others around us with the hope and prayer that they’ll accept His amazing offer of forgiveness. The days to come will either bring great judgment or great revival. You just ain’t seen nothing yet.
Lord, the devastation seen in these chapters is too great. I pray that those who would be the targets of this judgment would turn to You and experience Your forgiveness. I know that You would accept them into Your kingdom with mercy and grace. Use me to reach people before judgment comes. Even so, when Your judgment comes, it will be just and fair.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.