Wormwood Star
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Wormwood Star
(Revelation 8.10-13)
Page 147

"The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water - the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: 'Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!'" (Revelation 8.10-13)✞

Bitterness Plant

Wormwood PlantThis passage in Revelation tells us in the Biblical text that "wormwood is a bitter substance." Wormwood was a general name for a class of plant known as "Artemisia" whose principle characteristic was "bitterness of taste." They were not really poisonous in the sense of being fatal, although they were noxious, but the Israelites hated their bitterness. Jeremiah 9.14-15, therefore prophesied, "Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts, they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.' Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says, 'See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water." This passage informed them that God was to give his people wormwood to eat and the waters of gall (bitterness) to drink. "Wormwood" also stood for the bitter judgment of God on the disobedient. According to Deuteronomy 29.17-18, "You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison." Wormwood was considered the fruit of idolatry.✞

Darkness Over Land

Total EclipseIn this John of Patmos prophecy there also came a darkening. "A third of the day was without light" and the great Wormwood star fell from the sky. In Exodus 10.21-23 the Lord said to Moses,"'Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt - darkness that can be felt.' So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived." One of the ten plagues in Egypt was a deep darkness which was experienced over the whole of the land. In this picture of terror, John saw God using the same elemental forces of nature like the great Wormwood star to warn the people and ourselves too of the final destruction of the wicked to come!

"Wormwood Star"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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