Great Star Blazing
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38. Great Star Blazing
Revelation 8.10-13

"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 water springs. The star's name is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the bitter waters. The fourth angel sounded his trumpet. And a third of the sun, moon, and stars were struck, so 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 flying in midair call out loudly, 'Woe! Woe! Woe to the earth's inhabitants, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!'" (Revelation 8.10-13) ✞

Wormwood Star

Asteroid"A great star blazing as a torch" descends from heaven. This colossal rock, named "Wormwood," meaning "bitterness," falls on a third of the rivers and water springs. A third of the waters become bitter as a result. Many people die because of the poisoned waters' toxicity. In the Hebrew Bible, "wormwood" is mentioned seven times, meaning a "curse" or a "bitter substance." The word "wormwood" may also refer either to a famous person or to a celestial event. Possibly it is an "asteroid," an enormous rock flying through space, or a "Meteor" shooting stars that astronomers track continuously and generally burn up in the earth's atmosphere and produce streaks of light. Meteor colors vary from red (nitrogen/oxygen,) white (iron,) purple (calcium,) yellow (sodium,) and green (magnesium.) Scientists believe 4 billion meteors fall on the earth every day. Thankfully most are minuscule! The single largest meteorite found on the planet is the 9 ft by 9 ft by 3ft "Hobo Meteor." The name "Hobo" comes from the South African Khoekhoegowab word meaning "gift." Asteroids have struck the world in the past. These objects orbit around the sun that are not moons and have not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. The four largest asteroids are named "Ceres," which is likely a 577 miles diameter dwarf planet, "Vesta," 326 miles across, "Pallas," and "Hygies." One could hit the earth with devastating effects in the future. In this Revelation picture, John of Patmos has a terrifying vision of God using nature's elemental forces to warn us of the final destruction.

Sun, Moon, and Stars

Sun, Moon and StarsAn angel's voice sounds like a trumpet blast. "God struck a third of the sun, moon, and stars, darkened their light, and the day was without light, and the night." Generally, these Revelation pictures of nature's elemental forces find parallels in the ten Exodus plagues, which came on Egypt when Pharaoh refused to allow Israel's people to leave.

Wormwood Bitterness

Wormwood PlantThe Wormwood star crosses the sky, blazing like an asteroid at the third angel's trumpet call. The plant or herb's name "Wormwood" is "Artemisia," whose principal characteristic is a "bitter taste." These herbs are not poisonous or fatal. Although they are noxious, the Israelis hate their bitterness. Certain parts of the plant produce oil and valuable medicines. Wormwood also helps with various digestive problems such as appetite loss, upset stomach, gall bladder disease, and intestinal spasms. Revelation tells us that the star called "Wormwood," or the Greek "Apsinthos," "turned the waters bitter, and many people died." Jeremiah 9.14-15 comments, "They have followed their hearts' stubbornness, they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.' Therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, Israel's God, says. 'See, I will make these people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water." God will give his people "wormwood" food to eat and "gall" waters to drink because of their sin. Gall means "the greenish bile duct fluid, the gall bladder, and the liver." "Wormwood" represents God's bitter judgment on the people. Deuteronomy 29.17-18 warns, "You saw among them their detestable wooden and stone images, silver and gold idols. 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 worships those nations' gods. Make sure there is no root among you producing such bitter poison." Wormwood was considered the culmination of idol worship.

Absolute Darkness

Total EclipseIn this prophecy, there is also a daytime darkening. A recent TV documentary from a deep South African mine describes how visitors in a deep mine turn off their helmet lights. One person said, "the utter darkness was shattering! With one light on, you could barely see the floor in front of your feet." Darkness in a cave reminds us of Psalm 119.105, "Your lamp is a light unto my feet and a light unto my path." Revelation 8.12b adds, "A third of the day and the night was without light." In Exodus 10.21-23, the Lord says to Moses, "'Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness you can feel spreads out over Egypt.' So Moses stretched out his hand to the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt, and no one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light where they lived." One of Egypt's ten plagues was deep darkness, which the whole land experienced except for the Jewish settlements. In this terrible picture, John of Patmos sees God using elemental natural forces like the Wormwood star to warn the people and ourselves today of the final punishment and destruction to come! ✞

"Great Star Blazing"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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