This passage describes the judgment of the sixth trumpet. The seven trumpets (Rev. 8, 9 and 11:15-19) announce plagues more severe than the seals but not as severe as the bowls in Rev. 16.
Like the preceding reading, upon first reading this section seems fantastic and severe. When I read about such judgments, I remember what I already know about God- that He loves me and He loves the world. That He is Holy. That Scripture is written to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16).
Suddenly I can see myself in the description of those being judged. Uh-oh. This is not just something I can read and think to myself, boy those are BAD people. I realize that in verse 20 these are people who didn’t listen; like I don’t listen.
The Message paraphrase says that the rest of the men and women who weren’t killed by these plagues “went on their merry way,” living the life of worshipping idols which they always had. Perhaps the plagues got their attention but not for long. Why not? It’s sad but we all have times when we don’t listen. Let’s pray that the times of listening and being attuned to God’s voice increase.
I pray that I can pay attention to God, and listen, and repent when He is trying to get my attention. Repent is a good word for it means to change direction. Today I am going to pray that I would be yielded to God, that I would sit and really listen, and repent of any hurtful thoughts, attitudes or actions.