G-d does not change. (Heb 13v8) The G-d of the new covenant (like He was in the old) is still a G-d of wrath, judgment, and vengeance. In this chapter, the rapture has taken place. G-d is now transitioning and working in a unique way with the children of Israel – in order for them to fulfill their purpose and calling of being a testimony and a light to the nations. (Gen 12v3, Isaiah 60v1-3)
v1 Yeshua is still opening the seals. He is still in control.
· The purpose of this silence is to capture the attention of man for G-d’s judgement.
v2 Trumpets make announcements (Joel 2v1-12, Jer 4v19, Is 58v1) – throughout all the trumpet and bowl judgements there is still time for people to repent.
v3 This altar is the altar of incense (Ex 37v25-29) The burning of the incense was symbolic of the prayer of the people rising up to G-d(Ps 141v2, Revelation 5v8 – interprets the symbolism for us). Incense offerings were offered up to G-d as a pleasing aroma. In the same way, our prayers need to be pleasing to G-d. We need to pray in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Ephesians 6v18).
v4 All the things happening take place before G-d – everything is done with His approval. He is the One who is bringing it all about. He is acting to bring people to repentance and, therefore, salvation. (2 Cor 7v10, Acts 17v30-31)
v5 is reminiscent of G-d’s workings at Mt Sinai(Ex 19v16-19, Ex 20v18-21) G-d wanted to bring about change but the people weren’t ready for it. Similarly, this verse reminds us that G-d is wanting to bring a change to this world, a change with His people. The One who rules in heaven will also rule earth. G-d wants to fill this world with His holiness. He wants this world to reflect His character.
v6 One of the characteristics of these trumpet judgements is that the number 1/3rd keeps coming up. 1/3rd means that this judgement is partial – it is not G-d’s consuming wrath. They are partial for the purpose of producing repentance. If there was another way that G-d could act, to bring about a greater number of people returning to Him, He would have done it. We have seen that when G-d judged Israel (exile) she was brought to repentance and to a spiritual change that was pleasing to Him. G-d does not show favouritism. (Roms 2v11). He will not treat the nations differently to the way He dealt with Israel. Israel was set apart to be an example to the nations.
v7 -9 This has never happened on earth before. It is still future. The things happening are supernatural. They come from heaven and can’t be explained naturally.
v10 planet, meteor, comet? A 1/3 of the waters here refers to fresh water.
V11 Wormwood is bitter and associated with death. Death is bitter to swallow. In each of these judgements the common denominator is death. Many people ask: ‘Is this the work of the Holy and Loving G-d?’ YES! G-d loves righteousness. He is Holy and does not tolerate sin. He has atoned for it and redeemed for it, but these people have not responded to His atonement. They have ignored and neglected G-d’s provision.
v12 G-d is without limitations and cannot be put into a box. G-d is conveying to the people that He is above all and worthy of worship. The Jewish people will be going through this time – with the seal of G-d upon them – just like they did in Egypt, when all the plagues were afflicting the Egyptians.
v13 the eagle is a different angel. The word ‘woe’ demands a change. If the change is not made, it implies that what follows will be awful, disastrous. For those who missed out on the rapture/blessed hope there is no escaping these things. They have to go through them until the end. God wants change. Real change begins with repentance. Will they change or will they continue in the hardness of their hearts?