The first four trumpets we looked at in chapter 8 were directly aimed at the created world: dry ground, the seas, the streams and rivers, and finally the celestial bodies: sun, moon and stars. The 5th and 6th trumpets, however, will be directed at unrepentant sinners. These judgments will be carried out by demonic forces, which will cause torment and death to a third of the population; thus demonstrating that the intent of these judgments is to call people to repentance, before the final and complete judgment with the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath.
Now, we would think that after such suffering and devastation, men would be humbled before God and repent of their ungodliness, right? Sadly, no! We’re told in Rev 9:20-21: “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
This passage shows us: as we get closer to the end, God’s judgments will intensify, but mankind will become hardened in their rebellion against Him. So we ought to preach the gospel, while it is still the day of mercy. A second thing we learn from the 5th and 6th trumpets is that these satanic attacks will not harm any of God’s people, as we read the specific instructions given in verse 4: “They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” As believers, we are sealed and protected by the blood of Christ, hence we need not fear these judgments, because Christ has borne the full weight of God’s wrath on our behalf. What a glorious Savior we have! May we see in this chapter His amazing love for us, and may that stir us to greater love and service to Him.