Today we’re back in Revelation and this chapter opens with a dramatic silence. Just after the seventh and final seal is opened everything in heaven stops. There is a slight sense that things are about to get worse... and they do.
John continues to narrate the activities of four angels who are sounding trumpets. This results in catastrophic damage on the earth. One of the trumpets calls down an asteroid-type thing called "Wormwood." In the NIV there’s a footnote that says the title means "bitterness," which is an apt name seeing as it turned a third of the earth’s water bitter.
According to the four most common interpretations of Revelation, these events could be:
- Symbolizing what happened to Jerusalem in AD 70 or to the Roman empire years later
- A future judgment of God taken literally or merely the effects of humanity’s abuse of the earth; or
- A general symbol of God’s judgment on a defiant humanity.
-Written for Verve by Mike Zimmerman