|As with the third
trumpet, this judgment falls on springs and waters. The interpretation is roughly the
same; the judgment more severe.
thing is the reply of “the angel in charge of the waters.” It is as if this angel -- “nature”, we
might say today -- is saying, “I know that I’m going to bear this pain -- but
you are righteous. Do it!”
|The altar -- last
heard of in the fifth seal, where we had the saints under the altar crying
out -- responds in chorus. It is not
too much of a stretch to note this:
when man rebels against God, nature itself moves to punish man. Nature is His creation; it cannot do otherwise. We have seen a tremendous upsurge in sexual
sin in our time; we have also seen a
tremendous upsurge in AIDS, venereal disease, unwed pregnancy, divorce, and
many other such things. It must be
just a coincidence, of course.
|The historicist view
is that (like Attila the Hun in the third trumpet) the region in question is
northern Italy (see the map and point out the rivers), wherein Napoleon
Bonaparte conducted a similar campaign based upon the rivers. Napoleon it seems was the one who first
discovered that (according to one of his maxims of war) “a river along the
line of advance is much more dangerous than one perpendicular to it.” His campaign of striking at the smaller
portion of the armies of his foes, while a river divided them, is still
considered a military classic. From
1796 to 1798 he campaigned -- and carried off the Pope as a prisoner of
war. The blow fell on Rome, again.
commentators take this bowl as occasion to ask, “Is God fair?” The angels say yes, for this is
judgment. It’s worth a moment of
discussion; does a “fair and just” God
curse the earth this way?