In Revelation Chapter 9, John continues to speak of what it’s like when God’s Kingdom comes in the midst of a broken, fallen Babylon, world. I remember hearing these verses when I was young, and wondering why in the world the God of both Old and New Testaments would suddenly be interested in creating a world straight out of a horrible B-Movie you’d watch around midnight while eating way too much ice cream.
Seriously….giant horse-like, human-faced locusts?
John makes it obvious to his readers in verse 4, that these locusts are not actually locusts at all. After all, grass/green growth/trees are about all genuine locusts are interested in devouring. But leading into this section, verses 1 and 2 point us toward an understanding/reading that is less science fiction, and more revealing why Christ’s Kingdom coming is so needed:
Verse one – Lucifer being cast out, and given keys….not to death/hades…but simply to a “shaft” leading there. Should be obvious here, this isn’t something that’s “going to” happen in end times. This is something that has happened. We continue to read with that understanding.
Verse two – the sin released impacts not only humanity, but creation as well. This point is more expanded in the previous chapter 8, where it talks more broadly about the impact sin has had on this broken world.
Verse three – we see sin becoming more actively described here, as locusts. Locusts that impact those whose mode of being (forehead) is not marked by Christ more harshly than those of us made free from them.
Verse five & six- humanity will not helplessly lose life simply due to sins existence. But sin will definitely impact humanity from it’s beginning to end. The life cycle of a locust is about 5 months, which seems to point to humanity being tortured by sins existence without a break, as long as it exists…with no relief.
Verses seven & eight – sin can begin as simply an attractive option. Deceptively “beautiful” in many regards, comforting our egos, our wallets, and our esteem.
Verse nine – sin also allures us with promises of power, control, and dominance.
Verses ten through twelve – sin is by nature destructive, painful, leading to suffering, and evil. It destroys individuals, relationships, and entire communities, and it’s source is the “fallen star”…who’s focus was self.
May we continue to study the Word of God, and not be afraid of the book that promises to be a Revelation of Jesus Christ…