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December 17 – The first four trumpets

“Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” – Revelation 8:6 

Scripture reading: Revelation 9

Many wonder how a loving God could allow great disasters to happen. The first four trumpets are natural disasters, only partial in effect, sent from heaven as warnings, like trumpet blasts, lovingly calling us to prepare for the coming final judgment before our Holy God.

We must not understand the trumpets (disasters) in chronological order. That would be like listening to a symphony one instrument after the other. Rather we must see them happening simultaneously, as can happen any day anywhere in the world, even numerous times, but being limited in scope (only 1/3 of the creation may be touched), warnings of a more serious judgment coming. Think of the plagues in Egypt, which brought judgment on sin-hardened Egypt while bringing about deliverance for Israel. God was warning Egypt and His people, calling all to repentance.

The trumpets are divided much like the seals were (first four, then the last three, with a parenthesis between the last two to explain the condition of the church during these disasters). The trumpets are intended to call sinners to repentant faith. In the first four, the church is not excluded from the effects of the trumpets.

Zephaniah 1:14-16 describes the final day of the Lord “as a day of wrath, of distress and anguish … a day of trumpet blast.” It is important, as we see disasters in our time, to hear what the God of love is saying to us and to flee from the wrath to come, into the forgiving grace of Jesus Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

As we see disasters taking place both near and far, pray for the Lord to use them to call us and all sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, so that we may not be caught by surprise when Jesus returns in final judgment.

Rev. Calvin J. Tuininga has served in four churches and he retired in September 2019. He and his wife now reside in Washington, North Carolina. He presently serves as a relationship Counsellor with Coastal Pregnancy Centre, as the chairman of the Synodical appeals committee of the URCNA, and also enjoys helping in various churches when possible. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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