One passage preachers want to avoid!

Trumpets are images of trumpet.

Revelation assumes that there is indeed a spiritual realm in the universe.
Many scoff at such a suggestion.
Faith versus Reason - reason is a faith position.
What happens on death? - at peace or suffering worst? Speculation!

Revelation 9

Verse 1
Star fell from heaven (Satan - see Luke 10:18).
He fell to turn up the heat against those who are not sealed (Rev 7:3-4, Rev 10:20).
He is after those who are being judged.
Target is not the church, we are not talking about persecution here.
The abyss - place of destruction meant for Satan, not meant for people (Matthew 25:41).

Keys given to Satan - God is Sovereign, Jesus holding the keys (Rev 1:18).
Nothing happens to you without God knowing, without his authority.
Nothing good or bad will happen to you without it going through the Father God's hands.
When it feels like the locusts are on you nothing surprises him (Doh! cancer).
God has a plan in the midst of awefulness.

The cross served purposes of God.
God's power made perfect in weakness.
When I look dumb God looks great - show his glory, his power (not mine).
Give people permission not to be perfect, everything under his sovereignty.
Church is a hospital, not a country club (Rev3:17).

Verses 2-4
The first group of people mentioned are those who have the seal of God (Revelation 7:3).

Forehead - speaks of how you think.
A mind based on (shaped by, washed on) mind of Jesus (Romans 12:2).
I want to live in the empire of Jesus.
Not the secular propaganda the empire spews out.

Forehead - your faith is obvious, people can see it!
A life in obedience to Jesus.
Matthew 9:27-31 They had the right theology, but could not obey and keep quiet about it.
Is marriage about love or obedience? Kept together by covenant or by love / feelings?
Emotions cannot be trusted, when they let you down you need obedience.
Need both to come together - people can see it.

Verses 5-10
The next group of people are those who do not have the seal of God.

The locusts are like the only enemies the Roman Empire feared.
The locusts are symbolic of the Parthian war machine (across Euphrates river border v14).
The Parthians could fire arrows from their horses when feigning retreat (tails with stings).

Verses 11-19

The number of mounted troops is given as twice ten thousand time ten thousand.
These numbers are symbolic not literal (i.e. not 200,000,000).
This speaks of double myriads of myriads - an army which cannot be defeated.
An army which cannot be defeated outside the hope and faith you have in Jesus.

Here we also see evil attacking itself.
Satan has been given the key by God.
Satan uses it to let evil out to attack the people who follow him (i.e. those not sealed).
God does not have to do it, we bring stuff on ourselves.
Romans 1:28 God gave them over to their own desires.

Verses 20-21

Similar to Revelation 16:11, Revelation 2:21.
Refusal to repent - the rescuer is waiting Psalm 34:6-7.
We cry out to get it over with and for the final end Revelation 6:15-17.
God delays the end as it is not his will that any perish (2 Peter 3:9).
We die once and then comes the judgement (Hebrews 10:27).
We have one opportunity to repent, today is the day of salvation (Hebrews 4:7-13).

In Hosea 2:15 God promises to turn a time trouble into a new opportunity.
'You will be done' - that is His will Luke 4:18-19.

Revelation 9 is a warning not to go after things of the empires around us.
We have to resist / fight secular propaganda.
Their definition of reality looks good now, but consider what the end will be.

Revelation 9 shows God is a God of justice.
We have a yearning for justice. What if their is no justice.
We need passages like this to show that God is just.
We can only pray for enemies if we know he is a God of judgement / justice.
It takes the quiet of a suburban home to breed the idea that God is not a God of judgement / justice.
It takes a lot of comfort to become uncomfortable with God's judgement (your part of the world?).

God limits the time of torture / judgement to 5 months (verse 5).
The number 5 is symbolic of grace, favour, goodness.
It is a time of opportunity to repent (verse 20).
He is a God mercy, he does not relish in judgement.

All these judgements fell on Jesus.
Satan wants to destroy you (verse 11).
Some of us listen to him, making him our god.
Stop listening to Satan - he is a destroyer, its his native tongue.
See John 8:44, John 8:51, John 10:10.

Further Reading

Exodus 10:1-16
Joel 2:1-10
Galatians: 5:19-20
Revelation 22:12-16