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December 18 – The first we woe! (The fifth trumpet) 

“Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”” – Revelation 8:13 

Scripture reading: Revelation 9

The last three trumpets are more severe judgements, called woes by the eagle that John sees and hears (Remember to think visually, getting a picture without getting every detail, as when you watch a movie, such as Lord of the Rings!)

John sees a fallen star given a key to the Abyss. We do not have enough information to identify this star. By God’s authority, he has a key to the abode of demonic spirits. The Abyss is opened and smoke billows forth, bringing locusts (symbolic of demons) that can only hurt unbelievers. The demon world has no power to deceive God’s people. The pain afflicted is so severe that people long for death, but it eludes them. The leader of this fearsome horde is Abaddon and Apollyon, meaning destroyer.

All this is a picture of the forces of hell seeking to torment men. When people do not repent in response to disasters, but persist in opposing God, they become the prey of demonic forces. With great spiritual disillusionment, they even push sin to more unbelievable extremes. Believing lies, they distort the truth, which leads to increased anguish and spiritual bondage. And they must live and die with their refusal to repent and believe. God gives them over to their sin. This horrific vision of Revelation 9 must be seen and felt, for it comes from a loving God, Who even at this stage, is willing to forgive all who call on Him in repentance and faith.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that as we see this world in unbelief rushing into greater depths of sin, the Lord God will use their pain and misery to draw them back to Him in repentance and faith.

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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